Italian Vogue’s all-black, July issue features a fold-out cover with Liya Kebede on top followed by Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, and lastly Naomi Campbell. Cathy Horyn of the New York Times got a sneak peak of the issue which hits newsstands late next week.
Horyn also had the privilege of speaking with revolutionary photographer Steven Meisel who snapped all the photos that grace the approximately 100-page spread.
Meisel tells Horyn “I thought, it’s ridiculous, this discrimination. It’s so crazy to live in such a narrow, narrow place. Age, weight, sexuality, race — every kind of prejudice. I love the history of fashion, obviously, and I love old, and I tried to get as many of the older girls as I could."
Adding that against Vogue Italia Editor, Franca Sozzani’s wishes, he cast plus-size model and America’s Next Top model contestant Toccara Jones because, he says, he wanted to make a statement about weight. As for the older models Meisel is referring to, they include Veronica Webb, Naomi Campbell, and Tyra Banks.
For her part, Sozzani says that she was inspired by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and by the continued lack of diversity on the runways. She adds that this issue is in no way related to criticism that Italian Vogue too, is guilty of under-representing black models