Why This Black Model Is Recreating Iconic Fashion Campaigns

It's no secret that the fashion industry is often criticized for its lack of diversity. And while it's certainly making strides, there are still some jarring gaps when it comes to inclusiveness.

Deddeh Howard, Liberia-born and Los Angeles-based Instagram model, is taking the issue into her own hands by recreating famous fashion campaigns that featured white women.

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When she moved to the U.S., Howard experienced a great deal of struggle trying to start her modeling career. On her site, she describes her frustrating interactions with modeling agencies:

"Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and [they] wish they could represent me, they already have a black model. 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."

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So in her photo series, Howard teamed up with partner and photographer Raffael Dickreuter to create her own versions of the industry's most famous campaigns.

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Howard takes the place of models such as Kendall Jenner, Linda Evangelista, and Gisele Bundchen in a collection she has titled Black Mirror.

A photo posted by Deddeh Howard (@secretofdd) on

Recreating campaigns done by Gucci, Guess, Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret, and Calvin Klein, Howard holds the exact poses of the original ads, and wears almost exactly the same clothing and makeup.

Her commentary is meant for the fashion industry as a whole, but, as she points out, is especially timely considering this week's Victoria's Secret show:

"Yesterday at the Victoria's Secret fashion show you could see the same pattern you can see at New York Fashion Week or any other famous fashion event: Black girls are almost invisible...Why can't the big brands not embrace our diversity more and give all of us visibility? With this Black Mirror project I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen."

We see you, Deddeh.