With editions launching all over the world, why hasn't there been an African edition of Vogue? There's such a misconception of the continent and the diversity that is present in Africa; this could serve as a potential opportunity to showcase the beauty, influence and culture of Africa in a major way.
Image Credit: Business of Fashion / Fictional mockup designed by Mario Epanya
The conversation surfaced more and more after Naomi Campbell stated the need for an African edition of Vogue during an interview at Arise Fashion Week in Nigeria. She pointed out that the Vogue Arabia had just launched, so naturally an African edition was the next progression. Cameroonian photographer and makeup artist Mario Epanya released a series of fictional Vogue Africa covers back in 2010 in an effort to pose the same question. There is definitely a market for this, as a South African edition of Elle has been in existence since 1996, as well as the African publications and platforms that have existed already. From Lagos to Johannesburg to Nigeria, there has been a showcase of African fashion and culture and diversity put on display. With each show or industry event, a mix of African designers, socialites, media and stylish and influential individuals have been pulled together in the name of showcasing the beauty and vibrancy of the continent. Fashion, style and stories to tell are prevalent all throughout the continent, but the question has been posed time and time again of why isn't there an African edition of Vogue to represent that.
It would be great to see an edition of Vogue that reflects the beauty, energy, spirit and style of Africa and dispels the sad notion of a monolithic view of the continent. It would also be great to see an all-African team of editors, writers, artists, photographers, etc to work on bringing the edition life, especially to see that the edition accurately reflects culture and isn't diluted with what's deemed acceptable in the mainstream. It's crazy how much of a fantasy or utopian-esque that sounds...
It would be so cool to see an African edition of Vogue, to see such a rich culture leap from the pages, to connect with and learn from it. However, as cool as that would be, we can't depend on Vogue to see the value in and push our narrative. If an African edition does launch, that would be great! If not, that's okay too, and more emphasis should be put on supporting the entities that provide a platform for African culture and even make our own. It's nice to have a seat at the table, but, at the same time, fxck the table and build your own!
What do you think? Should there be an African edition of Vogue? Why or why not? Leave a comment and let's chat!
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