When it comes to fashion it seems like all barriers are broken and no one is afraid to take risk for the sake of art.
"Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows, and later vaudeville, in which performers create a stereotyped caricature of a black person"
For years now the fashion industry has been using black face or simply darker makeup on non ethnical models and selling it to us as a form of "art". Numero magazine is the latest force to do so. Immediately after the photos surfaced controversy follwed it . Outraged, some people quickly labelled the photos as an act of racism . The magazine caught itself in a full blown battle all while gaining some major publicity, which leads me to questioning their true intention for realising something so controversial.
In hopes of doing some major damage control the photographer Sebastian Kim sent out a response saying :
"I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding around my recent photos for Numero France. It was never my intention (nor Numero’s) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60's characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marissa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot.It saddens me that people would interpret this as a mockery of race. I believe that the very unfortunate title “African Queen” (which I was not aware of prior to publication) did a lot to further people’s misconceptions about these images. It was certainly never my intention to mock or offend anyone and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who was offended."
In a sense the photos are a slap in the face for the numerous aspiring African American models hoping to get there big break, if they aren't used for a spread entitled "African queen" what else is left for them ? The art that these photos was to portray was lost the moment the title "African queen" was placed on it . The photos simply now comes of as a way to provoke our culture and mock our race . Though I think Ondria Hardin is an amazing model and definitely one to watch the concept of the shoot is simply offensive and says a lot about who is deemed beautiful in the fashion industry and possibly society as a whole.