Controversy Over New Essence Fashion Director

On Monday, Clutch Magazine, reported on the news to it's following that Essence Magazine would soon be hiring Elliana Placas as their fashion director. Among the various opinions, that they cited, Michaela Angela Davis was one. Michaela angela actually broke the story via a series of tweets and Facebook statuses.

It is with a heavy heavy heart I have learned that Essence magazine has engaged a white fashion director, this hurts, literally, spiritually.

Clutch explains the situation as such:
"Our immediate reaction? As the publication unofficially deemed “Essence‘s little sister”—a growing young urban women’s online brand for news, critical commentary, lifestyle, fashion and beauty—it felt like our Mom walked us hand in hand to the center of the biggest shopping mall in the state, turned around, and left us. But we are no longer the little girls eyeballing the glossy giant who taught us how to love ourselves. We’ve been finding our way through the life, love and labels for quite sometime now; and the likely abandonment of the counselor who taught us everything we know is now evolving into clearer overstanding. The pressing question for many of us is how much does Time Warner have to do with the hiring."

The situation is a touchy one as it seems that the one major publication dedicated to the black woman now has a white fashion director. The flip side of that is, Elliana, no matter her skin tone seems to be suited for the job. The picture to the left was styled by Elliana for the June 2010 issue of Essence. Furthermore, she's been contributing to Essence for 6 months with seemingly no problems. While Najwa Moses, a fashion media personality, believes that there were other qualified black women such as Patti Wilson, June Ambrose, and Sydney Bolden, she cites some black men as well.

An aspect that has yet to be addressed in this discussion that may need to be is what makes a man more qualified than a woman to pick what a woman is wearing? If the reason that Elliana Placas shouldn't be given the fashion director position, is because she can't relate and she is not a black woman, then why are there so many men in fashion designing, styling, and basically creating what women wear? Does the color of one's skin make one more able to relate than gender in a fashion sense? Michael Fink is a male and yet he is the Fashion Director of Saks Fifth, because he is a male should this be a problem? It seems as if this may be discrimination at the least, if not racism, and I as a black male, am saddened by it.

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