Vanity Fair's 20th Annual Hollywood Issue is making headlines as it reportedly contains that controversial Gwyneth Paltrow piece, but we think it is noteworthy for another reason. It is a display of diversity actually done right, something that is quite rare in the fashion industry. Think, for instance, of Harper's Bazaar's Singular Beauties editorial, which debuted this summer. That spread featured models and non-models of a range of ages (Carmen Dell’Orefice, who is 82, and notoriously underage model, Ondria Hardin, who is now allegedly 16 years old), nationalities (Korean Soo Joo Park, Ethiopian Liya Kebede, and Chinese Xiao Wen Ju), and sizes (Erika Ervin, who is 6’8″ and plus-sized Candice Huffine), as an ode to diversity. But for some reason, the idea of forced diversity, as the theme for an editorial, doesn’t feel the same as naturally featuring individuals of various backgrounds and of various sizes in a magazine, no?
As I mentioned, Vanity Fair's cover is especially noteworthy because it is just not what we are used to, save for some very positive industry forces (think: Prabal Gurung, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, and others) in fashion.
Michael B. Jordan, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, Naomie Harris, Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman, Margot Robbie, Lea Seydoux, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Idris Elba, and George Clooney share the three-panel cover, which was shot by famed fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz, in celebration of "a year of spectacular film with a group of distinguished actors," according to the magazine.
Bevy Smith, fashion industry insider and the co-host of Bravo's show, Fashion Queens, took to her Twitter to share her thoughts on the cover, tweeting: "I'm so overjoyed by the Vanity Fair cover, inclusive without pandering!" and "Every 'mainstream' magazine that does a 'Black' themed issue should look at Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue and see a MODERN take on DIVERSITY." And we think she is right. The fashion industry should probably take notice of Vanity Fair's cover as a positive depiction of beauty, talent and diversity. Thoughts?