On a recent trip to Lagos, Nigeria, to appear on the runway at Arise Fashion Week, world-renowned supermodel Naomi Campbell said, “there should be a Vogue Africa”.
“We just had Vogue Arabia – it is the next progression. It has to be,” she told Reuters in an interview.
Vogue Arabia, the edition of the magazine aimed at readers in the Middle East, launched in 2016 to great raves.
“Africa has never had the opportunity to be out there and their fabrics and their materials and their designs be accepted on the global platform … it shouldn’t be that way,” said the British-born Campbell.
Vogue is a fashion and lifestyle magazine that began as a weekly newspaper in 1892 in the United States. Although Vogue has 23 international editions, not one is focused on Africa.
British Vogue was the first international edition launched in 1916, and Vogue Italia, the magazine’s Italian version is called the top fashion magazine in the world.
“People have come to realise it is not about the colour of your skin to define if you can do the job or not,” Campbell reflected on growing diversity in the industry.
Ghanaian-born Edward Enninful was appointed British Vogue’s editor-in-chief in April last year. He is the first black editor and the first man in the publication’s 100-year history.
But this would not be the first time the question of a Vogue Africa has been asked. In 2010, Paris based Cameroonian photographer Mario Epanya created intriguing covers of a fictional Vogue Africa, which caused a great buzz among fashion enthusiasts. Some were elated and others snuffed. One blogger argued that a Vogue Africa is not necessary, citing, among other reasons, that Vogue does not need to validate Africa before Africa becomes fashionable.
Campbell has not stayed away from Vogue Covers since her debut on Vogue UK in 1987. She continues to be a vocal voice against prejudice and discrimination in the industry.