Illustration for article titled Liya Kebede is the first model of color on Vogue Paris in five years

While waiting for diversity within fashion to take hold is comparable to watching paint dry (a very slooooooooow process), it's always encouraging when inspiring moments of inclusion arrive unexpectedly, such as Liya Kebede covering the Vogue Paris May issue.

liya paris vogue

As Fashionista reports, the Ethiopian-born stunner is the first black supermodel to garner a solo cover for the glossy in almost 5 years — an embarrassing statistic considering we live in the 21st century.


While this is Kebede's second appearance on the cover — she first graced the tome in 2002 — reportedly, the next model of color to be featured solo on the cover was Rose Cordero in March 2010, some eight years later. Two years earlier, in 2008, supermodel legends Naomi Campbell and Noémie Lenoir each graced the cover of Vogue Paris, but they each shared the honor with white models, Kate Moss and Laetitia Casta.

Considering fashion is a global business, it's always wonderful to see a woman of color featured prominently on a mainstream fashion magazine. But the infrequency brings up the question: Why the huge gaps in between?  Publications may feel that placing one black girl on a cover ever so often contributes to closing the gap on diversity in fashion. Instead, it makes it glaringly obvious how far we have to go.


Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.

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