Fashion Perfects the Art of Erasure: Naomi & Jourdan for Burberry SS15

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All hail the queens of England!

No, not Elizabeth and Kate — Naomi and Jourdan! I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday and obviously found myself on Instagram. The first picture I was met with was from Naomi Campbell. She had her arms draped around Jourdan Dunn, both draped in Burberry’s Spring 2015 line, shot by legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino. I obviously squealed because I’m a total modelizer and these two are the holy grail — but culturally these images are so loaded.

Back in August, Guardian published an article asking what all of us were wondering: Why hasn’t Jourdan Dunn landed a solo British Vogue cover? As noted in the story, the last black model to have the cover was Naomi Campbell… nearly 12 years ago. To be fair, Jourdan did grace the cover in 2008, but it was group shot. There is no denying that Jourdan has been one of top three of contemporary models for years now, so the fact that she hasn’t covered her home edition of Vogue is just preposterous.

Under pressure from Iman, Bethann Hardison, and Naomi herself, the fashion industry has begun to take diversity seriously as of late. We’ve seen some crumbs thrown our way in the form of all Black model casted shows this past season — and that odd (and actually super lame) step show at Rick Owens — but nothing to really speak to the fact that Black models own the industry at this point. From editorials to ads, Black models are everywhere. Joan, Chanel, Malaika, Maria, Cindy, Ajak, Tami, Arlenis, Hammam, both Graces — I could go on, but we don’t have the rest of our lives. Fashion has finally opened the floodgates and iconic Black models are coming in like a feverish tide. We are now at the point when they cannot go unacknowledged.

This new Burberry Spring 2015 campaign documents two powerhouses of their generation, and quietly passes the baton from Naomi to Jourdan. Naomi paved the way for Jourdan (and the other working Black models listed above) to exist. Jourdan is charged with the task to make space for the next generation to land the covers they deserve. Now all we need is the fashion industry to realize that black models are their tens across the board.

Check out Burberry’s Spring 2015 new campaign below:

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Photo Credit: Mario Testino

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