Deddeh Howard was always passionate about fashion from a very young age. She’s been always keen on learning about fashion and its role in culture. But there had always been agony in her for not seeing a bl-ack woman on fashion magazines’ cover page.
“Something that always bothered me when you see these amazing images [was] that very rarely you ever see a black woman on them,” Howard, wrote in her blog, Secret of DD.
“Black girls are almost invisible,” she wrote. So she came up with the idea to create a photo series, named, ‘Bl-ack Mirror,’ in which she recreates different poses of famous models like Gigi Hadid, Gisele Bundchen, and Kendall Jenner.
Raffael Dickreuter, Howard’s partner, sh-ot the whole series.
The series was sh-ot with an intention to raise a voice against ‘uniformity’ in the fashion industry. Howard wants everyone to prioritize inclusive diversity in every profession. Her objective was to make people aware of the lack of heterogeneity in the fashion world and stimulate bl-ack women to come up in large numbers against this ‘disturbing’ trend.
She also wants bl-ack women to take inspiration from her and make an effort to break social barriers. According to Howard, there is a significant difference in the participation of white and bl-ack women in the fashion world. She noticed that around 75% of models are white who got featured on the fall 2016 runaways.
Lack of diversity, sometimes, can be very embarrassing, she wrote on her blog. Asserting her point of view, she mentioned a fashion show in her blog where models were walking to Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ – a tribute to Bl-ackness, when none of their models was bl-ack.
Diversity & representation play a key role in developing the psyche of a community as a whole and making them capable of contributing positively to society. It’s important that everyone should be given a chance to succeed without any sort of discrimination. Lack of diversity must be discouraged as it ‘paralyzes’ a section of society.
“The next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too.” Howard wrote on her blog. “For that reason, diversity in ad campaigns is in my opinion much more important than you might think.”