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Tag Archives: Black models

In addition to being banned from British Airways, fashion model Naomi Campbell has been ordered to contribute to the community after acting all crazy with the airline’s employees. Reuters reports:

A London court sentenced Naomi Campbell to 200 hours of community service on Friday after the British supermodel pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers during an expletive-filled “air rage” incident in April.


The 38-year-old had faced up to six months in prison and a fine of 5,000 pounds ($9,800) for the assaults, but Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court in west London imposed a community service sentence, which involves unpaid work, under a 12-month order.


Wearing a dark suit and sunglasses, Campbell was escorted by her minders through a large scrum of reporters and photographers waiting outside the court building.


The court heard how Campbell swore and screamed abuse at the captain of the Los Angeles-bound British Airways flight when she learned one of her bags had gone missing.


In April, the airline was beset by problems with check-in and baggage handling systems at the newly opened 4.3 billion pound ($8.6 billion) Terminal 5. Hundreds of flights were canceled and tens of thousands of suitcases went missing.


Prosecutors said Campbell ordered the captain to find her missing luggage and became violent when police tried to escort her off the aircraft. The model pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers and to a public order offense.


In addition to the community service, Campbell was ordered to pay compensation of 200 pounds ($394) to one of the police officers, 150 pounds to the captain and a further 2,300 pounds in fines.


Earlier Campbell’s spokesman, Alan Edwards, said outside court that she conceded the incident had been “regrettable.”


Shortly after the incident, media reported Campbell had been banned from flying on British Airways as a result of the outburst.

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[Photo by Steve Bagness /]


We ♥ the fact that this issue is getting so much attention.

And now fashion thought leader and New York Times writer, Cathy Horyn, takes a look at the dilemma of the diminishing number of minority models on the runway.

RACIAL prejudice in the fashion industry has long persisted because of tokenism and lookism. “We already have our black girl,” says a designer to a fashion-show casting agent, declining to see others. Or: “She doesn’t have the right look.” Laziness, paranoia and pedantry may also have something to do with the failure to hire black models for shows and magazine features in any meaningful number, but, hey, that’s just a guess.


A decade ago the thing to deplore was the stereotyping of black models by dressing them in African-inspired clothes (or the Asian girls in kimonos). This at least gave work to minority models, but it also encouraged a Western view of African culture of the many-bangles-many-beads variety.

O.K., so fashion ain’t deep. It looks into a mirror and sees …itself. The irony in fashion is that it loves change but it can’t actually change anything. It can only reflect a change in the air. But what changes fashion? What would finally move American designers to include more black models on their runways? That 30 percent of the country is nonwhite? That black women spend $20 billion a year on clothes? That an African-American is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party?

The answer is the individual eye.

In fashion, one of the most influential eyes belongs to the photographer Steven Meisel. His pictures have caught an America basking in the earnest, self-reflected glow of celebrity and money. He has taken innumerable risks, especially with “Sex,” the 1992 volume he did with Madonna, that have paid off with a career that allows him to do whatever he wants.

And he has almost lovingly photographed some of the world’s beautiful women, tapping into their psyches, connecting with them on a human level, while transforming them into fashion deities.

As the model Veronica Webb, who first worked with Mr. Meisel 20 years ago, said: “Steven knows every single tic, every talent that every girl has. He just pulls it out of them.”


For the July issue of Italian Vogue, Mr. Meisel has photographed only black models. In a reverse of the general pattern of fashion magazines, all the faces are black, and all the feature topics are related to black women in the arts and entertainment. Mr. Meisel was given roughly 100 pages for his pictures. The issue will be on European newsstands next Thursday and in the United States soon after.

Read the full article.

Black women in the United States spend more than $20 billion on apparel each year.

That’s what says.

And according to a recent BET release, at New York’s September 2007 Fashion Week the runways were dominated by white faces.

In fact, Black faces were more absent from the runways than some fashion insiders have seen since the ’60s. Of the 101 runway shows, more than 1/3 employed no Black models.

Because of this decline in African Americans on the runway, BET’s been asking, “Has Black become unfashionable?”