Louis Vuitton. Photo: Details Magazine Dec'13/Jan'14 Issue

Louis Vuitton. Photo: Details Magazine Dec’13/Jan’14 Issue

Blackface is suddenly a trend cool enough to wear on the runway and in fashion editorials.


In the December 2013/January 2014 issue of Details Magazine, three white female Louis Vuitton models each finished off their look with a blackface. One can not help but wonder about the significance of blackface for the designer, and whether it was necessary to illustrate his designs?




Not long ago, it was reported that designer Alessandro Dell’ Acqua’s “Disco Africa” Halloween party was chock full of guests wearing elaborate blackfaces.

"Disco Africa" Halloween party. Photo: Fashion Bomb Daily

“Disco Africa” Halloween party. Photo: Fashion Bomb Daily

The party was followed by an outpouring of emotions from many who condemned the use of blackface at the party. Event organizers were forced to issue an apology via Instagram.

You would think the fashion world learned their lesson from the furious backlash that Alessandro Dell’ Acqua’s party received; but the recent Louis Vuitton editorial suggests that nothing has changed.


Photo: Fashion Bomb Daily

Vogue Netherlands Editorial. Photo: Fashion Bomb Daily

Prior to the Loius Vuitton campaign in Details Magazine, there are many other accounts of blackface in the fashion industry.  In May 2013,  Vogue Netherlands featured a white Louis Vuitton model in  blackface.  Louis Vuitton appears to have a penchant for blackface, particularly to exploit it for commercial reasons. Someone needs to educate them about the history of blackface, that it is neither cool nor fashionable. What’s gnawing at me is the fact that his inspiration could have easily been represented by black models in lieu of white models in a black face.


Below are a couple more examples of the commercialization of blackface in the fashion industry.


February 2013 Numéro Magazine’s Editorial titled “African Queen”

Photo: The Daily Beast

Numero Blackface Editorial. Photo: The Daily Beast


February 2010 L’Officiel Hommes menswear editorial shot by Milan Vukmirovic

Photo: Milan Vukmirovic

L’officiel Hommes Editorial. Photo: Milan Vukmirovic


All these editorials resulted in a public apology; but, for how long can we feign ignorance?  Instead of designers and editors wallowing in their ignorance and offending people, they should consider reading a book or taking a course in black history.


What do you think about the use of blackface in fashion editorials? Please share your comments below or tweet me @LindaAmaechi