by Shonette Reed
From thinning models to the eurocentric approach to beauty, the fashion and beauty industry has been anything but favorable when it comes to women of color. That is, of course, until Teen Vogue turned tables with their upcoming August 2015 issue.
Featuring models Aya Jones, Lineisy Montero, and Imaan Hammam, Teen Vogue has shown the world that beauty is more diverse than the fashion industry has been willing to acknowledge.
Teen Vogue has always had a eye for discovering upcoming talent and excavating models before they become household names and runway regulars.
The three models have each had impressive seasons. Imaan Hammam,18, landed a Givenchy campaign. Aya Jones, 20, walked in 47 runway shows. And Lineisy Montero, 19, kicked off her career on the Prada runway. Each young woman comes from a diverse background, with Hammam being of Egyptian-Moroccan descent, Jones being French-Ivorian (Ivory Coast), and Montero being Dominican. They are among the “small cadre of black models to grace the influential catwalk since Naomi Campbell in the ‘90s,” according to Elaine Welteroth, in her article for Teen Vogue.
It is, in fact, a big deal that all three women on Teen Vogue’s August cover are Black women. By doing so, the magazine has unveiled three of the most promising models of this generation, showcasing that we can uplift and seek friendship with each other, challenging the stereotypical intense competition we so often hear of between Black women.
An entirely new generation of models is emerging, and new beauty standards along with them. While it will take much more than a cover from Teen Vogue, it’s the beginning of something that holds much promise in today’s society.
With resumes already as sparkling as theirs so early in their careers, and being seen as the faces of promising movement to add real diversity to the fashion industry, the only way to go for Jones, Montera, and Hammam, is up.
Photo: Teen Vogue / Conde Nast
Shonette Reed is regular contributor for Coloures and For Harriet from Los Angeles, Calif. With plans to break into the fashion industry as a fashion reporter, she runs her own style blog. Her aim is to highlight the important contributions of women of color in the fashion industry as well as give women of color more exposure within the leading magazines in fashion. You can follow her on twitter @ShonetteReed.