Last July, Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani put out an issue featuring only black models, to make a statement about the lack of diversity in the fashion industry.
This year, the July magazine isn’t dedicated entirely to black models (42-year-old model Kristen McMenamy appears on the cover).
But in commemoration of last year’s groundbreaking issue, a special July supplement is dedicated not to black models, but black Barbie dolls. Barbie first came out with a black doll, called “Francie,” in 1967, and in 1980 the first black Barbie doll launched.
The new Italian Vogue supplement sounds like a cleverly orchestrated promotion for Barbie’s next line of black dolls, called the “So In Style” dolls. British Vogue reports:
[T]he So In Style dolls … have been designed with more authentic-looking black features, including a new facial sculpt that has fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair.
Those come out early next year. British Vogue has a preview of Italian Vogue’s new Barbie-doll supplement. We would rather have seen another all-black issue with actual people. But maybe it’s harder to find sponsorship for that.