Thursday, April 16, 2015

Vogue Paris's new Ethiopian cover star Liya Kebede, 39, becomes first black woman to front the magazine in FIVE YEARS

Supermodel Liya Kebede has become the first black woman to grace the cover of Vogue in five years
  •     Liya Kebede, who was born in Ethiopia, graces the May issue
  •     She also appeared on Vogue Paris' May 2002 cover
  •     Last black model before Mrs Kebede was Rose Cordero in March 2010 
Supermodel Liya Kebede has become the first black woman to grace the cover of Vogue in five years.

The 39-year-old Ethiopian-born stunner fronts Vogue Paris's upcoming May issue, before Mrs Kebede, the last black woman to cover Vogue Paris was model Rose Cordero in March 2010.

In January of this year, British Vogue ended a 12-year run of failing to use a single woman of colour on its cover when it gave Jourdan Dunn the prized accolade.

Mrs Kebede, who posed for Vogue in a colourful geometric ensemble amid a crimson backdrop, was discovered in Ethiopia as a teen, and moved to Paris and then New York, where she carved out a successful modelling career.

In part, she has Vogue Paris to thank for her meteoric rise to fame, after it put her on its May cover in 2002 and dedicated the entire issue to her.

The 39-year-old Ethiopian-born beauty, pictured with her husband and kids, fronts Vogue Paris' upcoming May issue

 Mrs Kebede has been married to Ethiopian hedge fund manager Kassy Kebede for 15 years, and has two children with him, Suhul, 14, and Raee, ten.

American Vogue has been leagues ahead on pushing diversity at the newsstands, having featured more black cover stars in 2014 than it ever has before in a single year.

Four stars - Rihanna, Lupita Nyong'o, Joan Smalls and Kanye West - appeared on its covers last year out of a total of 15 overall, the rest of whom were white.

It's certainly an improvement.

In 2010, when Halle Berry fronted Vogue's most important volume of the year - the September issue - she became the first woman of colour to do so since Naomi Campbell in 1989.

Earlier this year, The Fashion Spot assessed 44 major print publications across the globe to determine which magazines did and did not feature models from a minority background on their cover at some point in 2014.
White models were found to appear 567 times out of 611 total covers, while people of colour made the cut just 119 times, nearly five times less overall.

Harper’s Bazaar U.S. and UK, Vogue UK, Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Paris, Vogue Ukraine, Vogue Russia, Teen Vogue, Numéro, LOVE and Porter all failed to use a single woman of minority on their covers at all in 2014.

Only time will tell whether Vogue will continue to lead the way in including a wider range of ethnicities on its covers in 2015, and whether the rest of the fashion world will follow.