Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Year of the Dragon

i-D magazine are famous for their visually stunning, trend-setting and often controversial covers. Last year, their February issue celebrated the Chinese New Year in style, marking the occasion with a succession of different covers featuring Asian models and shot by prominent Chinese fashion photographer, Chen Man.

But did these 12 covers mark a shift in the Western world? For the first time, the cult magazine's cover space was featuring Asian girls exclusively, breaking these lesser known faces onto the global scene in all their glory. While the topic of race is one not without controversy in the fashion industry, it is a widely reported fact that Asians are under-represented in the world of fashion and modelling, yet make up a large percentage of its audience.

And so, as the catwalk dictates Oriental prints to be a massive trend this summer, magazines will obediently follow. The stunning Fei Fei Sun has just landed her first Vogue Italia cover- the first Asian to ever feature on the cover. Italian Vogue is renowned for making powerful statements- from using plus-size models to spur on their anti-anorexia petition (read more here) to encouraging black models in fashion- this is the one edition of Vogue with real attitude.

But consider this. Although having worked with many Asian models in past campaigns and editorials, many other editions of Vogue have never had an Asian covergirl, including the UK and US editions. In fact, the very first Asian to grace a Vogue cover was just 2 years ago- Du Juan for French Vogue in 2011. Which begs just one more question: is there really such a lack of diversity in the fashion industry?


Here are all 12 of i-D magazine's stunning Asian covers:














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