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Fashion weeks aren’t the only places the industry gets flack for lack of diversity. And rightly so. Vogue Paris’ latest issue features Ethiopian supermodel and designer Liya Kebede on its cover, which shockingly is its first in five years to feature someone of color. The last time the glossy featured a non-white model? March 2010, with Rose Cordero.
Even more shocking is the fact U.K. Vogue’s recent February 2015 cover, featuring stunning Brit model Jourdan Dunn, was its first in 12 years — yes, 12 — starring a solo black woman.
While this issue needs to be recognized and rectified in the future, this is not only a moment for outrage. It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the many reasons Kebede is on the magazine’s cover.
Not only is she a stunning person with a laundry list of impressive credits whose career skyrocketed after this same magazine dedicated an entire issue to her in 2002, but she’s a talented clothing designer and role model as well. Her label, Lemlem, is a favorite of the fashion set and also provides work to artisans in her native country, and the mother of two is an active advocate for maternal and child health through her Liya Kebede Foundation, among other organizations. All that is to say that yes, Kebede deserves this cover, and let’s hope there are many more to come.
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