Liya Kebede is currently featured on the cover of Vogue Paris‘ May 2015 issue. An Ethiopian-born model, she is the first model of color to rule the cover in the past five years. The Condé Nast publication is typically home to the likes of Kate Moss, Lara Stone and other white cover stars.
According to Fashionista, Liya Kebede previously graced the cover of Vogue Paris back in May 2002. After that, Rose Cordero was the next model of color to land a solo cover eight years later in 2010. In 2008, Naomi Campbell and Noémie Lenoir were featured on Vogue Paris‘ cover. Both shared the front-page spotlight with a white supermodel.
Vogue isn’t the only publication to be pointed out for its lack of diversity. The February 2015 issue of Vogue UK recently featured Jourdan Dunn as their cover model (finally). She was the first black model to cover the publication solo in 12 long years.
The fashion world has been under fire for years due to its lack of diversity, but thankfully, the inclusion of women of color on high-couture fashion runways has increased in recent seasons. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg even posted a letter in her capacity as The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) president urging the industry to keep health standards and diversity in mind when casting models for upcoming fashion weeks, The Huffington Post reports.
I’m not sure whether to praise Vogue Paris for putting a model of color on the cover of their issue, or to scold them for waiting so long. Either way, the cover turned out absolutely gorgeous. Liya Kebede kneels down against a red back drop while wearing a bright, patterned outfit. Her wild curls frame her gorgeous features, and a triumphant look (rightfully) fall across her face. After seeing such a beautiful cover, lets hope it doesn’t take another half decade for top publications to uphold diversity on their covers.