Blog post written by Jasmine Hirtz for Ebony & Ivory Lingerie
Riley Montana is a dark-skinned supermodel from Detroit who looked up to Naomi Campbell in the ‘90s and knew there were great heights she would be able to reach. When Riley got to New York, she booked an ad campaign for Givenchy. Heights. Reached. These are her words when asked about diversity in the fashion industry;
“It’s so important because when you can relate, you see somebody from the same
culture and background from you doing something amazing, it motivates you”
There is a need for the stage to be shared by a diverse set of people because we need a diverse set of role models. If we only ever see one type of human in the media, the rest of the population will be left thinking their destiny is to remain a nobody.
One woman who wears clothes so well is a talented singer, songwriter, and flutist named Lizzo. One day she’s wearing old Hollywood glam by Atelier Versace and the next she’s twerking in a lingerie ad campaign. Lizzo is remarkable because you take one look at her and you know the world is not on her side and yet she has confidence that could move mountains. She’s unapologetically curvy, black and an activist - features worn by a woman that terrifies the 1%. Lizzo is a role model for anyone who looks, talks, or feels like her and she tells her fans every day the secret is to be your true self.
While the world applauds any brand taking part in inclusivity, high fashion is still tripping over their own feet. Jacquemus, a luxury fashion brand from Paris, spoke to Vogue about hearing the cries of discrimination and were determined to do something about it. Then they did a full performance of hiring models of every skin tone - which is beautiful, this is great, but we’re not done with you yet. Jacquemus himself posted a photo of his TEAM <3 which consists of only white people. This is infuriating because marginalized groups of people live the struggle every day while fashion companies treat it like skin tone is a trend to be cashed in on.
At Ebony & Ivory, we nurture role models who wear their culture all over their bodies. We’re making lingerie in Afro-inspired prints so women of all colours can dress in designs that make them feel at home. Let the lesson be learned that one’s background is nothing to hide. Riley Montana looked up to a dark-skinned supermodel and then became one herself. Lizzo twerked her curves for the camera wearing nothing but lingerie. Be proud of who you are, and when you forget how, I hope this world has given you a role model to show you how it’s done.