When the budding supermodel Anok Yai opens the latest Prada fashion show, the entire fashion sphere gets excited – the Italian company’s sales too. For the first time in over 20 years, this honour has been given to a woman of colour… and only the second time in the brand’s history.
The world of strass and glitter is often pointed out for its lack of diversity, especially against the black community. While things seem to be moving in the right direction — including the appointment of Edward Enninful as head of VOGUE UK, as well as the growing number of black models on the runways — there is still a long way to go.
Determined to accelerate change, Neu Neu enters the newsstands. A fashion magazine different from the others, focusing on “black creatives around the world”…
A “for us, by us” magazine?
The biannual publication is not so much for African-Americans, but rather made by African-Americans. Thus, it is actually a question of granting exposure to artists who are unfortunately deprived of it, because of their complexion. Don’t expect to find any ranking for hair products with shea butter.
Through reports, shootings, portraits and interviews, Neu Neu scrutinizes fashion and speaks about music with an underground accent. Like a nose thumb to the establishment, it devotes its first issue to youth, deciphered in a kilo of glossy paper.
On the road to diversity
Not just targeting a black audience is crucial to the magazine’s mission. Otherwise, why preach in your own parish? Moreover, it also puts this community back at the heart of a popular culture that it greatly influences, without necessarily taking credit for it.
While polemics over cultural appropriation flourish a little more each day, Neu Neu proves that the fight for a fair representation is the work of the entire industry. Creators, photographers, casting directors, investors… but also the media. •