Vogue does not have a great history in terms of representing black women on its cover. Since 1989, only eight women have made the cut – models Naomi Campbell and Liya Kebede, actors Halle Berry and Jennifer Hudson, singers Beyonce and Rihanna, plus Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
But all that has changed today with the news that Lupita Nyong’o is Vogue’s cover star for July, the first of African origin since Ethiopian Kebede. Given the attention that Nyong’o has received as a fashion icon, including People magazine’s Most Beautiful title, the news is not a huge surprise – indeed, some had speculated that she would be granted the coveted September issue. However, it continues Nyong’o’s trend of proudly representing dark-skinned black beauty – a phenomenon all too rare in mainstream fashion.
For us, Nyong’o’s continued prominence in the fashion world only emphasises what a hot property she is as an actor. Combining blistering shoots with thoughtful and intelligent interviews wherever she is featured, what director wouldn’t want to work with such a star? Following news of her Star Wars role and the potentially-much-more-intriguing adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah’, let’s hope the next news we have to report on Nyong’o is a meaty lead role. But for now, we salute today’s news.