African American Model Recreates Fashion Ads to Highlight Industry’s Lack of Diversity

African American Model and Entrepreneur Deddeh Howard, is tired of black models being marginalized, so she took matters into her own hands. The West Africa native is raising awareness for more diversity in the fashion industry. By publishing a series of photos to her website in which she recreates major advertising campaigns that originally starred A-list white models and actresses.

She calls her project “Black Mirror,” as it reflects what each ad would look like if it were to feature a black woman instead a white one. She says “When growing up as a girl I always wondered, why the big brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Guess and many others rarely seem to use a black model? And if they do, a very small group of black models does make the cut here and there, but that group seems to remain pretty much identical over a long period of time.”




Calvin Klein


Howard was shot by her partner, photographer Raffael Dickreuter, who expertly captured his muse in poses and environments that are almost identical to those in the initial images. The ads ranges from the reproduction of Guess starring Gigi Hadid and a Louis Vuitton ad, bicycle in a photo campaigned by actress Michelle Williams. She rocks a pair of dark shades like model Bianca Balti did in a Dolce & Gabbana ad and very strikingly poses as Gisele Bundchen in a reenactment of a campaign for Vivara.


David Yurman



Louis Vuitton



Victoria’s Secret



You can’t deny the statistics. Despite in efforts to have more diversity in Fashion Week by the CFDA, only 10.33% were Black. This is an 1% increase from last season. Howard hopes to inspire the next generation of black models. “With this Black Mirror project I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen. Just like a Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss or Candice Swanepoel gets to travel the world.Shoot the most amazing campaigns and live an exciting life to inspire young girls. Let’s give the next generation something to believe in.”

Dolce & Gabbana






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