By now you've heard the hype and seen the covers of Vogue Italia's all black July issue. Now, step inside the magazine to experience some of the powerful editorials shot by Steven Meisel. Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Liya Kebede, Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman (left), and Sessilee Lopez are all a part of this groundbreaking movement, each bringing to the table their own unique presence. Repeat after me: Black is beautiful!
>> This morning, the July 2008 Vogue Italia hit stands, and we've got the scans to prove it. The magazine features an 11-page spread, "Elegance as a Form," with Yasmin Warsame and devotes 9 pages to America's Next Top Model alum Toccara Jones in addition to the two editorials we've already seen: Naomi Campbell's 9-page luxe spread and the 25-page ode to new girl Sessilee Lopez.
But I saved the best for last: "Modern Luxe" by Steven Meisel, spanning 15 pages, and featuring everyone from Noemie Lenoir to Kiara Kabukuru to Jourdan Dunn.
A while back, we announced something groundbreaking: the July issue of Vogue Italia would feature all black models. While I don't think it should be a big to-do, because this should be happening anyway, unfortunately it is and it's not happening. This rides on the heels of the runways being so white washed as of late. And let's not forget the late and great Yves Saint Laurent, who encouraged the use of African-American models and launched the career of Naomi Campbell.
The proofs are in! Naomi, Jourdan Dunn, Liya Kebede, and Sessilee Lopez can all call themselves cover girls because each has a separate cover, photographed by Steven Meisel. Not to pin these gorgeous gals against one another, but just as friendly competition, which Vogue Italia cover do you think is most Fab? And while we're on the subject — do you think this is a step in the right direction for model diversity?
If Desert Flower isn't quite your style, don't worry — this isn't Liya's only upcoming film appearance. She's also been cast in ItW, starring Terrence Howard.
>> Since hype continues to swirl around the all-black July issue of Vogue Italia and probably will do so until it comes out, I thought it would be fun to keep a running list of who is supposedly involved:
>> Olga Sherer has been deposed from the Lanvin throne after two seasons. The new blood? Raquel Zimmermann and Liya Kebede, who were shot by Steven Meisel in March at Smashbox Studios in LA.
As for the look: "Downtown smoky burlesque woman," according to Meisel. "Rich rather than dangerous." Edward Enninful was on-hand styling, and Pat McGrath on makeup duty. The prototype images feature Liya, wearing a black strapless gown with ruffles down the front, and Raquel in a plum-colored dress that ties around the neck, both on a dark city street. The New Yorker writer who was on-set at the shoot says of the preliminary shots:
[Liya and Raquel] looked kinetic, caught in mid-motion, as if they were about to hail a cab. Behind the pair were the blurry lights of New York in the rain.
Lanvin ads never seem to disappoint, so I can't wait to see what these look like.
I absolutely love Liya Kebede. Just look at her! She always manages to look both adorable and sophisticated. And it sounds like she will be applying those qualities to a line of children’s clothing called LemLem, which means “to bloom” in Amharic, a Semitic language from Kebede’s native Ethiopia.
Expected to launch early next year, LemLem is geared primarily toward children aged three months to 10 years old. All the teeny garments will be handmade in Ethiopia and combine some traditional weaving and embroidery techniques with modern silhouettes - sounds really interesting! And yes, Liya has two tots of her own - a six-year-old son named Suhul and a two-year-old daughter, Raee - who I'm sure are her muses.