Chanel Iman — First Black Model to Walk for Gucci Since ’05!

I didn’t know this until the other day, and I don’t know if it’s a good thing, or bad, but Chanel Iman is the first black model to walk the runways of Gucci, since 2005. It may sound bad, but what’s worst is that British model, Jourdan Dunn, walked for Prada last season, and was the first brown sista in 10yrs!!

Former Gucci designer, Tom Ford, ended his reign in 2005, so maybe it’s the fault of current designer, Frida Giannini, why it has taken so long. And, why only one black model? I know it might not seem like there’s a lot of black models around, but believe me, there are. They just don’t get the same chances.

* So, my question is:
 – If you were a black model, and in Chanel or Jourdan‘s shoes, would you feel honored to be employed to a company such as Gucci or Prada?

                                                  chanel models gucci - milan s,s '09 by you.

* I’m not saying either company is racist [or whatever], so don’t think that’s what the point of this post is. I’m speaking about black super-models, as we never see enough. Not since since tyra banks, naomi campbell, or selita ebanks.


  1. No…I would not be honored.
    I would think it is a honor for them to have ME walk in their show.
    No disrespect to Prada and Gucci.

  2. Honored? In a shallow sense, yes. I think any model regardless of color would be. But to be honored to be in their show as a black woman, like I should only be so lucky, no. I would still be pissed to look around and realize I’m the only black woman there. The fashion industry is so behind the times and prejudice that it’s absolutely shameful. Hard to look through fashion mags when you’d have to play ‘Where’s Waldo’ to find an ethnic woman, much less a black one.

  3. No, it’s not an honor. Why are they so ignorant regarding race when a large majority of the designers are gay?

  4. yup, i never noticed to tell u the truth but as majesa said, on a shallow level, YES but the fact that I should be so lucky to be on ur runway and the first to do so in a decade or whatever, then NO. But what Lola said is true though. We’re still buying.
    although we saw a lot of ethnic models at NY Fashion week but hardly any at London and Milan considering Vogue Italia launched its first all black model issue recently….

  5. That’s a hard one….as an aspiring model it does get discouraging when ur the only “fly in the milk” or “pepper in the salt” as they say. Its discouraging…it makes u feel odd like wow im the one they picked but i am the only ONE. So what does that say (sigh) its progress but its very stagnated progress. The most use black models get are videos and that is so dissapointing. Beautiful women who could grace any catwalk are reduced to sexy props. The gap is wide but progress is progress so i’d do my damnest to strut my stuff the best way i knew how and make’em recognize the commodity that is the black model. In essence though we need to find the beauty within ourselves and stop looking to others to validate it. Gucci and Prada may not kno ur beautiful but U kno ur beautiful and one little black girl shouldnt validated or unvalidate that.

  6. My post was taken down too. My comment was that Chanel can walk and that is why she was hired. I mentioned that she looked sickly because her thighs are smaller than her lower legs, but I didn’t say anything vulgar or inappropriate.

  7. If you were a black model, and in Chanel or Jourdan’s shoes, would you feel honored to be employed to a company such as Gucci or Prada?

    African americans will do anything for money i.e taking for example how many fanatics try to prove someone’ s talent by how many millions they make so i think the majority wouldn’ t care if the brand were racist [i said it] or not isn’ t rihanna their new ambassador? didn’ t tommy hilfiger said that if he knew black people will use his product he wouldn’ t have never made the brand? yet doesn’ t he have a perfume with a black person? doesn’ t he have black model? My point is the reason why we are and will stay victims of racism is that you rub some money in front of black folks and their morals and values goes out of the window!

    I personally would not give use beauty to serve someone that have no respect for my history or what i believe in but i know i’ m one in a million, however i do own couple of piece of clothing and jewerly for gucci but you better believe that i received them as gift i don’ t spend my money on racists, or black trying to be white

    Maybe i’ m a bit off topics but oh well
    No i would not be honored!

  8. No it’s not really an honor to be used in their show, but she is working. Chanel can not speak for a whole demographic of people, the people who aren’t being considered as consumers should learn to show their discontentment with their dollars and not the usual lip service. I personally would like to see true diversity in every medium available in this country and in the entire world, but I don’t really see it.

    If you’ve never had the opportunity to live in Europe, one would not know that several Europeans are very xenophobic. All of this changed in the late 80’s, right around the time most models of color disappeared from the fashion capitals of Europe, with the influx of several immigrants arriving in Europe. So along with racism a non-European is considered as an outsider and a second class citizen. Just as we have our problems here in the USA, Europe has it’s own set of racial problems.

    Who can you blame the casting director or the designer??? Some people including some of our own will never understand BLACK BEAUTY and again we must define our OWN BEAUTY. Many people must stop buying into the fashion labels as their identity.

  9. Hmmm….There were some great points made on this post and once again as people of color we’re forced to live that double edged sword of being black and living excellence. Chanel Iman is a beautiful sister who falls into the European standard of beauty and she’s got to use what she’s got to get what she wants. No hate here.

    As for her being honored to be chosen is something entirely different. She’s not breaking any real milestones; she’s what the fashion industry needs right now and that’s diversity. I really see it as a win-win. It’s always beneficial for AA to infiltrate, build careers, and then give back. An excellent example of this is Tyra Banks. Brains and Beauty. Hopefully Chanel will have that kind of impact after she builds her career.

  10. Honoured? Not really, but would I be geeking out? YES! 😆 And by the by, Tom Ford did GREAT things for the House of Gucci…I love that m.f. 😆 This woman is gorgeous, very pretty. And congrats to Rihanna for snagging a spokespersonshipthingy! I love it! 🙂 Oh and by the by, Gucci ads always capture my attention but I have noted of late that there’s no people of color really featured with the other statuesque, androgynous, deathly gorgeous male and female models. But again I say…honoured? Not really but if I were Chanel I’d be squealing with excitement and doing a happy dance at even being able to display those awesome clothes.

  11. @ Fashionista, Essence online just did a “Black Models Who Changed the Face of Fashion” thingy on their website. How appropriate that it comes about after your post! I’m going over to check it out now 🙂 Look forward to more of your posts; you give me a reason to geek out over fashion stuff and people and places and things. 😉

  12. Hard one-yeah I would be happy I was working but “honored” don’t think so.Tom Ford was better at Gucci.Don’t get me wrong, I like the new designs but Tom was more open to all types of people.This is the industry and it is ran by Gay men,who are racist.Now if we were talking about Gay rights they would be making tee shirts but we need more diversity within the designers world period.We need more Oswald Botaeng and Tracy Resses…,etc

  13. It wouldn’t be an honor, it would another gig. I would do the fierceness on the runway, collect my check and move on to the next gig.

  14. She desperately needs some food. She is sickeningly underweight. This is not attractive. It is revolting.

  15. That’s crazy, this is 2008 and we are still talking about firsts for Black people. I would not consider it an honor, I would consider it a job. If a company has a secret policy to not hire Black models, I would not go to them anyway.

    Man, that girl have some long legs!

  16. she’s a funny shaped skinny girl, the width of her shoulders are wider than the width of her hips

  17. you see, this is why we black british girls really LOVE Naomi Campbell! this is what she has been fighting for in the industry for years, we don’t play into her tarnished media image. Even Piers Morgan ended his fued with Naomi after he had the chance to know her and see the causes she fights for.

    also im all for different black girls in the industry making it, i just feel that Naomi represents me more.

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