Model of the Day: Sessilee Lopez

March 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

At 21 years old, Miss Girl is already a muse for Steven Meisel. Hey, remember that Italian Vogue All Black Issue? You know, the best-selling issue of all time? Well, the issue came with four separate covers, and Sessilee was one of the coveted four. Meisel has done a ton of editorials of her in Italian Vogue, like the one up top. Just look at her work!

If you’ve seen a fashion ad in the last year, at all, chances are you you’ve seen her. She has worked almost every major catwalk, from Oscar de la Renta to Jason Wu, and she’s a favorite over at Diane von Furstenberg. She starred in Christian Siriano’s last runway and closed the show with a faaaaaabulous pink gown.

Here’s a black model who is giving tea to all those who say that black models can’t be successful. Not only is she successful on the runway, but she’s basically a mainstay in Italian Vogue, which everybody knows is the THE tea of high fashion. It’s interesting to think about what kind of black models do become successful. Either they have a ton of success (Alek Wek, Chanel Iman, etc) or they don’t exist. When black women were fighting to be included in all-white beauty pageants like Miss America or even the black-only pageants in the 1950s and 1960s, the women who did make it still had very European features. So there’s a very interesting relationship between high fashion and race/ethnicity. Because high fashion is about theatrics and exaggeration, the models used are often racially ambiguous or have quite pronounced features. I mean basically, to be a black model in high fashion means making a product of your “exotic” looks.

But at the end of the day, I don’t care what they say about black models. I just measure it in pictures.

Here’s to more black models! With Chanel Iman’s recent success at Victoria’s Secret, I think she’s poised to be the next “Tyra Banks.”

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