Rising stars Adut Akech, Anok Yai and Kaia Gerber front Fendi’s Spring Summer 2019 campaign, lensed by the now-deceased Karl Lagerfeld. For those who suggest that the love fest between Adut and Kaia above is staged for the ad campaign, the two young women are very close friends in real life.
As fashion struggles to acknowledge past sins around diversity and in our human relationships generally, we must also acknowledge the reality of inspiring relationships as well. While I am totally exasperated with Gucci and Prada over blackface sweaters and trinkets, and now we add Burberry’s lynching/suicide rope from the Fall 2019 show, I want to just scream.
Simultaneously, when deep relationships and friendships between black women and white women exist — as is the case between Adut and Kaia — they must also receive our positive acknowledgement. Many will accuse Lagerfeld of staging the intimate, powerful photo of Kaia and Adut that leads this post. Thankfully, it is for real, and I am grateful for their message for humanity. Goddess knows we need it. ~ Anne