The modeling world just got a huge gift. It was graced with the beauty of African model Deddeh Howard, who created the Black Mirror project, with the hopes of encouraging more diversity in the modeling industry. After feeling underrepresented as a black woman, she sought the help of photographer Raffael Dickreuter to capture the beauty of diversity by recreating popular fashion advertisements that used white female models.
Prominent supermodels like Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista were the original models chosen for the ads. For the project, Deddeh took identical photos of herself next to the models to show what the advertisements would look like if a black model was used.
Not only does Deddeh look stunning in the shots, she captures the poses, the message, and the essence of the advertisements perfectly. Just look at this amazing recreation of her posing in a Victoria's Secret ad that originally featured Candice Swanepoel:
On her website, Deddeh discusses the difficulties she's faced as a black woman in the modeling business. She says:
"Not too long ago it happened to me that I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black models that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model, besides having an abundance of white models. It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all. When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre."
She concludes by stating that there needs to be more diversity in all forms of media, not just modeling. She's fighting for equality on billboards, television, movies and advertisements.
After looking at the photographs from the Black Mirror project, it's clear that the modeling industry needs to start hiring more black women. Deddeh Howard is just one example of the natural beauty that women of color have to offer the world, and we can't wait to see more! Here's another shot of Deddeh that we were blown away with: