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Deddeh Howard calls for more racial diversity in fashion with the Black Mirror project


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On LA-based model Deddeh Howard’s blog, Secret of DD, she states: “It is time for more diversity and models of all races being seen.”

The Black Mirror project is led by Howard with photographer Raffael Dickreuter to tackle the issue of the fashion industry’s lack of racial diversity. In the project, Howard recreates recognisable fashion images which previously featured white models to show that in the industry, as she says on her blog, "black girls are almost invisible."

The project highlights the number of major fashion campaigns that have failed to cast any non-white models, and shows that the lack of black models in fashion is worrying and unnecessary.

Howard says on an Instagram caption "it's about time we stand up together", calling for more recognition of the divide in fashion.

Standing up against the issue, and asking for the support of others to work together to see the fashion industry make the required changes, she hopes for "more black models to be seen on bill boards, movies, TV commercials, advertisements etc for us all."

"Seeing Jasmine Tookes wearing the most expensive bra at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show was so inspiring," Howard considers on her blog. "We need more of those moments."

She argues that successful black models should be the norm, but are generally uncommon: "There are Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and maybe Iman, but they are the exception to the rule."

Howard writes on her Secret of DD blog that she is tired of being "told by [fashion model] agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me [but] they already have a black model."

As Howard is emphasising, the fashion industry has the potential to celebrate diversity. Yet, she is concerned that there is not enough being done to move past the heavy focus on white models. This is what she hopes to change.

In an industry that too often lacks racial diversity, Deddeh Howard is making a powerful statement that all-white fashion campaigns should no longer be accepted as the norm. Calling for more acceptance of black models, Black Mirror is a hugely important project that is drawing attention to, and challenging, a major issue in the world of fashion.

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