In an industry notorious for its lily-white image, it’s fitting that Italian Vogue’s “Black Issue” is the hottest thing to hit the newsstands in ages. According to Folio, the demand for the issue featuring all black models is so high that Condé Nast is reprinting the issue—10,000 copies to be exact, polybagged with the tagline “Most Wanted Issue Ever” and “First Reprint” across the front.
Conventional (i.e. racist) wisdom in the magazine industry says that putting a black face on the cover of your magazine means it won’t sell well. Apparently for fashion magazines, that also means putting black faces inside, since you rarely see anyone with brown skin within the pages of the major fashion mags (seriously, I challenge you to find more than one or two, if even that). So the fact that people are scrambling to buy this issue, which is in Italian and goes for $16-$20, just goes to show that “conventional wisdom” is a bunch of crap. You listening, Anna Wintour?