Last week, Tasny Hoskins wrote a rather scathing piece in The Guardian, questioning British Vogue‘s editorial policies. Hoskins noted that not since Naomi Campbell graced the magazine’s cover in 2002 — 12 years ago — has another black female model been featured by herself on the cover of the British fashion bible. It’s not that there haven’t been any outstanding black models or black British models since then. But it seems as if there has been a conscious decision to systematically leave these girls out. Hoskins points to Malaika Firth and Jourdan Dunn as evidence that something shady is going on over at the glossy.
“Back when Premier Model Management looked after Naomi Campbell, she was the first and only black model to front the Prada campaign in 1994 then went onto do the British Vogue cover in 2002,” Premier Model Management Founder, Carole White told The Guardian. “Our…Malaika is the first girl since Naomi to front a Prada campaign (the 2014 campaign), so logic would dictate that Malaika would be the next black model to appear on the cover soon.”
But logical situations sometimes don’t manifest into reality. It would be an understatement to say that Jourdan has had an impressive career. After all, she was a regular Burberry girl (what’s more British than Burberry?). She’s even noted as one of Forbes magazine’s highest-paid models, having raked in 4 million in the past year. That’s half a million more than her friend and fellow buzzy model, Cara Delevingne, who in less than two years has scored not one or two, but three British Vogue covers. Surely, someone like Ms. Dunn, whose credits include appearances in campaigns for Balmain, YSL, Topshop, Calvin Klein and DKNY to name a few (mind you, many of the same brands that have also featured Cara), would be a shoo-in for a British Vogue cover.
Jourdan’s been relegated to a British Vogue supplement cover, and its teen spinoff, Miss Vogue. Her one appearance on an actual British Vogue cover was a joint shoot with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Eden Clark, in November 2008.