Vogue Africa: How did Naomi Campbell respond?
Recently supermodel Naomi Campbell appealed to the publication of Condé Nast International, which publishes Vogue and asked to open the African version. She noted that the fashion industry has long crossed the national line, and the fabrics and materials of Africans could be of interest to the whole world.
Soon a discussion began about whether it was worth starting a fashion business in the countries that, by default, affect the whole industry, although few people accentuated this. The main question was whether, in addition to nationality and individuality, Africans could create such exclusive content to grow to the world level.
The founder of the international edition of Layu in Dakar, Magi Sok, commented Naomi’s request: “If Vogue really starts to produce in Africa, then one of the global problems that it will face is financing. To profit from publications in the fashion and design industry, you must acquire a lot of patience. That’s why many editorial offices ceased their work just a few years after the opening. However, thanks to Vogue’s branding, it can easily provoke confidence among firms in the market that they try to make all the fashionable magazines in Africa, thereby facilitating their existence. It is also clear that even mentioning in Vogue will not make any brand instantly famous, although it will not hurt the additional advertising in any case. “
The disputes are not about the very fact of the discovery of Vogue, but about the consequences it will bring. Today, African readers are actively raising the topic of intellectual property, cultural heritage, positioning themselves in the world, etc. They evaluate a lot exclusively for political reasons. How will the mannequins look, what will be their hair color, complexion? Who will come up with the ideal model and realize his idea?
For the continent, which has always been saturated with negative stereotypes about appearance, it will be customary to expect bias towards its positioning at the world level. Vogue also needs to remember that Africa is not a monolith, it is full of exoticism, diversity of views and traditions.
“I hope they do not intend to open one of those magazines that make up 75% of South African content and 25% of others. I remember how a few years ago Cosmopolitan started releasing a Kenyan edition: 75% of the content was South African, and only 25% was Kenyan, “says Anyango Mpinga, the founder of the leading Kenyan fashion brand.