Models Riley Montana, Maria Borges, Iman Abdulmajid, Grace Bol, Anais Mali, Ajak Deng, and Adesuwa Aighewi feel the vibe in 'Black Beauty Matters!', styled by Beyoncé and now Kim Kardashian, Ivorian and Senegalese fashion eye Jenke Ahmed Tailly. Ellen von Unwerth joins the model femme fest for L'Officiel September 2016./ Hair by Tomi Kono; makeup by Vicky Steckel
Tailly's big break came when L'Officiel Paris asked him to help style and creative direct their 2011 90th Anniversary issue. "I told them I wanted to put a black girl on the cover," says Tailly. "After 90 years, they only had two black girls on the cover, and I said I would really like the future to be more diverse. We were thinking Halle Berry or Beyoncé. And I said, maybe I can get Beyonce to do it because I am really good friends with her husband's lawyer." Surprisingly, the tenuous connection worked: "I sent my idea to Bey and she loved it," Tailly told Elle.
Now Jenke Ahmed Tailly edits a bold African fashion perspective in this September issue devoted to an African vision. Entertainer Ciara and editor Shala Monroque join the black beauty models. Speaking to Models.com, Tailly talks about working on the issue with photographer Ellen von Unwerth:
It was very important for me that I was in control of this project. Normally, a stylist collaborates with a photographer, but this was something I both created and developed. For me, the photographer was coming to really execute the vision that we have. For this issue, what is the relationship with Africa and black culture? And to me Ellen being a woman and if you look at her body of work, she has an intricate collection of black girls that she photographs divinely so I thought she would be perfect for it. I loved working with her; I worked with her as creative director of Beyoncé’s “IV”, which I also shot images for the magazine.