Mannequin Leomie Anderson explains why Black make-up artists are crucial


Leomie Anderson uncovered the realities of being a Black mannequin throughout 2021 Fashion Week in a TikTok that had viewers outraged, however different Black fashions weren’t as shocked.

The 29-year-old British mannequin is a Victoria’s Secret Angel and was featured on the Forbes “30 Below 30” listing in 2020. She has been within the trade since she was an adolescent, strolling for manufacturers like Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta. She has been the face of beauty manufacturers like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, Pat McGrath and Topshop.

However regardless of years of working within the trade and making a reputation for herself, Anderson nonetheless stated that she has to hold her personal make-up package for shoots and reveals.

“The realities of being a Black mannequin throughout fashion week,” she wrote within the TikTok. “I requested who may do Black make-up. Why do I seem like I work within the mines?”

Anderson then filmed herself wiping off a number of the make-up, showing to shake her head at somebody off-camera.

Then Anderson filmed a crew of three individuals blow-drying her hair “final minute.” Finally, Anderson did her personal make-up as a result of the second try, as she put it, made her really feel ugly.

“Redid my entire face in 10 minutes,” she stated.

“Sure, I ate it up like I at all times do,” she wrote over footage of her runway stroll. “However by the point I walked the runway, I wished to go home. Please rent extra Black hair and make-up artists so we don’t must undergo this.”

A report discovered that New York Trend Week Spring 2022 was the second most diverse season on file and featured 55.5% fashions of shade.

Whereas the forefront of Trend Week could also be evolving, there’s nonetheless a serious drawback behind the scenes. In an essay for Glamour, mannequin Winnie Harlow — one of the vital recognizable fashions as we speak — stated that there’s nonetheless a scarcity of inclusivity in relation to hair and make-up artists.

“Relating to inclusiveness, [the modeling industry] nonetheless has a whole lot of work to do,” Harlow stated. “Simply since you’ve labored on one Black individual’s hair doesn’t imply you understand all Black hair. In the event you’ve labored on Naomi Campbell, that’s not the identical as engaged on kinky hair. There are such a lot of people who find themselves like, ‘Yeah! I’ve labored on a Black woman earlier than. I do know Black hair.’ After which they nonetheless attain for the tongs or use too excessive a warmth.”

Hair performs a vital function in Black tradition, which makes the dearth of hiring educated hairstylists all of the extra disrespectful to fashions. Hairstyles have at all times performed a job in Black historical past and are necessary in expressing id, Dr. Myrna Lashley, an assistant professor at McGill College, wrote in a research paper.

The Black hair care trade is big as properly, raking in trillions of dollars annually as Black customers have progressively switched to purchasing merchandise catering to them.

Merchandise for Black hair and pores and skin are on the market, however this development hasn’t been mirrored in what make-up artists and hairstylists are being employed for backstage preparation.

“There have been many instances the place I’d have to the touch up my hair and make-up backstage,” mannequin Lameka Fox informed Refinery29. “I’ve had hair and make-up artists get upset with me when that occurs, however how can I really feel good if I don’t look good? I’ve a job to do.”

Numerous Black fashions have advocated for hiring extra hair and make-up artists who perceive Black pores and skin and hair. Typically the repercussions of not figuring out easy methods to deal with Black hair leaves long-lasting issues — Fox additionally informed Refinery29 that she’s misplaced “a whole lot of hair” on account of improper dealing with.

“I’ve labored in sure jobs and I’ll see an artist’s package, and it’s actually simply catered for white to light-skinned fashions,” make-up artist Zakiyah Shani informed BuzzFeed News. “I simply suppose that’s loopy that you simply’re so assured that you simply don’t even suppose you’ll encounter Black expertise as we speak.”

With out correct backstage workers, Black fashions are then topic to doing additional work in an already hectic state of affairs.

“Being a Black mannequin is doing different individuals’s jobs and never being paid for the additional work,” Anderson added on Twitter.

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