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Is Visibility In the Offing? | Manolo for the Big Girl

Is Visibility In the Offing?

Last week, I wrote about the July issue of Italian Vogue. This morning, the same good friend who brought the magazine to my attention in the first place passed along an article in the Guardian about how the all-black issue has been received.

Apparently, the long-standing assumption in the fashion industry that black models won’t sell magazines is…astonishingly wrong. Astonishingly, I hasten to say, to the fashion industry. Some of us have wished to see something more than a bland parade of interchangably white faces on our magazines for some time.

As it turns out, the publishers have had to scramble to print an extra 40,000 copies in hopes of sating public demand for this issue. The $16.00 magazine is being scalped on eBay for as much as $50.00 a copy. Black, as it turns out, is bankable.

All I can say is hurrah! and let’s challenge a few more stereotypes about what will and won’t sell magazines. Beauty comes not only in all colors, but in all shapes and sizes as well. Tall and short, thin and fat, standing tall or in a wheelchair, women are beautiful.

It’s about freaking time the fashion industry started to figure that out.

8 Responses to “Is Visibility In the Offing?”

  1. marjorie July 27, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    couldn’t agree more. the people who’ve huffed that this issue is “tokenism” are way off base — it’s calling attention to an essential and huge and ridiculous injustice. the same limited vision is what’s dictating that only super-skinny girls be in magazines.

    i looked in every magazine store in the east village and in midtown for this issue, and kept being told that it had sold out immediately. i finally got a copy the other day. the store had just gotten a second shipment; there was a sticker on the front saying it was a second printing. the shop owner said he normally sells 10 copies of italian vogue a month; this time he’d sold 60. so far.

    there is a market for a broader conception of beauty than we’re currently getting. hopefully, money will talk.

    and yet i’m not so hopeful.

  2. gina July 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    I actually put off buying a pair of fabulous shoes just to purchase/order a copy (I had to call a NY newsagent to get it). I’m completely glad I did, and am considering buying another just to keep in the shrinkwrap. It’s funny how proud I felt just turning the pages. Maybe this is an open door for other types of beauty to be explored? (maybe MODE magazine can come back?)

  3. Avi July 27, 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    This news has me cackling in glee! It took too long but finally, they’re behaving like proper capitalists and seeing what sells instead of what they they think people want.

    First, the fashion magazines, next: Hollywood! Bastien of never-grown-up-boys!

  4. Jennie July 27, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    OMG!!! A fashion mag that sold without anorexic, impossibly pale, mournfully sad, tweeners as the models! What are they thinking? Next you’ll see adult women in the mags, people with a BMI over 10, gray hair, wrinkles, oh shudder! Real people! When will the madness end!

  5. Patia July 27, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    I was addicted to fashion magazines in my teens and twenties. Around 30, I successfully weaned myself off them. They made me feel bad about myself. I was an avid supporter of Mode, Grace, BBW and Radiance during their lifespans, though. Now I can’t believe that with all the niche magazines out there, there is nothing for plus-size women anymore.

    I would LOVE to see magazines with all shapes, sizes, colors and abilities!!!

  6. Nemtynakht July 27, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Not to change the topic, but I get very, very, very upset when mainstream women’s magazines deign to offer a weak “clothes for every body type!” wherein they offer one each of a busty, heavy, boy-figure, and short woman in a flattering outfit. (OMG! short women shouldn’t wear capris! Way to teach women to try to hide themselves in the pursuit of looking tall and skinny!) Followed by… 10-20 pages of models in ridiculous outfits. Personally, I would immediately subscribe to a magazine that actually showed women, as they are, in fashions that people can wear. Edgy, sure. Expensive, well, okay. But not anorexic models on heels at the beach. Ugh.

  7. dcsurfergirl July 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    I still read Allure, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I just like them. Italian Vogue is definitely on to something. It would be lovely to see a US magazine do the same.

    I would also just love to see a high-end designer get a clue and make plus-size clothes (up to at least size 26). I am sick of scrounging through Lane Bryant and Wal-Mart for clothes that fit my taste and budget. (Torrid is not near me, Ashley Stewart colors and patterns tend to overpower me and online shopping is its own brand of crazy) It always boils down to dark tops (few patterns), jeans or dark slacks (don’t get me started about Lane Bryant jeans),plain black dresses and accessories to brighten these plain outfits.

    This is why I diet.

  8. Opticians May 18, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Wonderful to read!