A Liberian Instagram model has recreated some of the most memorable recent fashion ads, which have traditionally starred white models, shedding light on the lack of cultural diversity in fashion advertising.
Deddeh Howard was raised in Liberia and currently lives in LA. She saw first hand just how difficult cracking the modelling world can be, particularly for black models.
“When growing up as a girl I always wondered, why the big brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Guess and many others rarely seem to use a black model,” she writes on her website.
When she arrived in LA to pursue her career, she was greeted by agencies that told her they already had one or two black models on the roster, which was enough. Ummm, WHAT! Let us crunch some numbers here quickly—beep boop beep. Yup, just as we thought. That makes absolutely no sense.
So, Howard decided to take the matter into her own hands, teaming up with photographer Raffael Dickreuter to recreate campaigns by Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Guess, Calvin Klein, Gucci and David Yurman, replacing the likes of Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid with her stunning face and figure instead.
And what a statement the project makes! Not only that, but the images are absolutely gorgeous—she looks so stunning, and the photography is spot on.
You can bet that Howard will continue her pursuit of cultural equality within fashion, and within all aspects of life. And she does believe there’s hope.
“Seeing Jasmine Tookes wearing the most expensive bra at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show was so inspiring,” she writes on her site, “we need more of those moments.” We could not agree with you more, Deddeh.