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In Latest Episode Of ‘All Black People Don’t Look Alike’: A Magazine Mixed-Up Two Black Models For A Feature Interview

An Australian magazine is under fire after they incorrectly identified the South Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech, and published a photograph of model Lavia Lazarus instead. Akech, who’s worked with Chanel, Vogue, British Vogue, and other well-renowned fashion publications, took to Instagram to express her disappointment after the magazine published another model in a feature she was interviewed for. 

She was interviewed by WHO magazine, a celebrity and entertainment publication, ahead of Melbourne Fashion Week which begins in Australia this week on August 28.

According to Akech, the publication already directly issued an apology to her but she still wanted to share with the public how the incident made her feel. 

“With the article, they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl,” Akech wrote in her Instagram caption. “This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances.”

She went on to write that she not only felt insulted and disrespected but she felt like her entire race had been disrespected too. According to the model, the incident compelled her to address the issue so that similar flubs would not be repeated.

In her interview with Australia’s WHO Magazine, Akech said she spoke about how people view refugees and about people’s attitude to people of color in general. But after they mistook her for another Black model, she felt that it not only disrespected her but also defeated the purpose of what she said in her interview and what she stood for. 

Akech went on to write in the lengthy caption that she feels this wouldn’t have happened to a white model and it’s also not the first time she’s experienced something similar to this, she added.

@adutakech / Instagram

In her caption, Akech also opened up about the many times other people have called her by another model’s name. Ultimately, Akech hopes that by speaking up and publicly addressing how this made her feel, it will work as somewhat of a “wake up call to people within the [fashion] industry.” 

Publications need to do better, and so do the writers, photographers, fact-checkers, and editors within these publications. Akech ended her caption by saying that Australia has a lot of work to do and so does the rest of the industry. 

Many people on Twitter also showed their support for Adut Akech and voiced their opinions about the gross trend of mistaking other black women for each other in the fashion and entertainment industry.

Lord Mayor Melbourne Sally Capp on Twitter went on to air her frustrations and disappointments with what happened. “Respect for all people from all backgrounds is fundamental to our city and our culture. The diversity of our community is precious and something we truly value and celebrate,” she added. 

Capp went on to write that she was working to identify ways to make a positive impact so these acts of discrimination do not keep happening. She said she will be meeting with model Adut Akech and went on to express her “deepest apologies.” 

Most importantly, she tweeted, the City of Melbourne will be working with Adut to “create the most positive and proactive outcome from an awful and completely avoidable situation.”

While it’s great to see that Lord Mayor Melbourne Sally Capp is taking the necessary steps to address this situation in a mature and constructive manner, she hits the nail right on the head when she says this was a completely avoidable situation.  

One user tweeted that mistaking Adut Akech for another Black woman is just another form of blatant of racism.  

Shahmir Sanni tweeted that Adut Akech has been on “every major magazine in the world” and that white writers need to do better and avoid another racist incident like this in the future. “When a black woman has worked hard for her accolades, broken a multitude of glass ceilings, spoken up for refugees unapologetically, misidentifying her plays into the structural & institutional biases of our societies,” Sanni wrote in another tweet

Another Twitter user pointed out that Adut Akech is simultaneously on 3 different September covers — including Meghan Markle’s Vogue issue where she was a guest editor.

And yet, they added, the wrong photo of her was still included in the Australian magazine. 

Other folks on Twitter were also quick to reiterate that Adut Akech is one of the world’s top models at the moment and that this irresponsible “mix-up” is something other Black women can relate to. 

“All of us who have been mistaken for another can empathize,” they tweeted. 

Since Akech shared her post on Instagram, Melbourne Fashion Week also published an apology on its Instagram page saying they were extremely disappointed that a photo of one of their campaign models, Flavia Lazarus, was “mistaken;y printed instead of a photo of Adut.” 

Further, BBC also reached out to WHO Magazine for a statement. To which they responded that “The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologise for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved, and our client the City of Melbourne.”

After More Than 70 Years, The Cannes Film Festival Will Finally Have A Black President And It’s Going To Be Spike Lee

Entertainment

After More Than 70 Years, The Cannes Film Festival Will Finally Have A Black President And It’s Going To Be Spike Lee

James Gourley / Flickr

Spike Lee is returning to the 73rd Cannes Film Festival a couple of years after BlacKkKlansman debuted there, this time as the jury president. In over seven decades, the prestigious film festival has never had a black president overseeing the artists who decide which films will win an award. 

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be president of Cannes jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a statement.

The 62-year-old director won Cannes’ Grand Prix for BlacKkKlansman which also earned Lee his first Academy Award. Prior to his recent release, Lee hadn’t participated in Cannes in 22 years despite having seven of his most beloved films like, She’s Gotta Have ItDo The Right Thing and Summer Of Sam, playing there. 

Lee releases a heartfelt statement about becoming the jury president.

Lee said this particular film festival is the most important in the world and that it significantly impacted his career.

“It started way back in 1986 – my first feature film She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director’s Fortnight. The next joint was in 1989 – Do The Right Thing, an Official Selection in Competition. And I don’t have the time nor space to write about the cinematic explosion that jumped off, still relative to this, 30 years later,” Lee said in a statement. 

Do The Right Thing might be Lee’s most well-known project. The film which uses building racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood as an exploration of violence as activism was solidified as a part of history when it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and Libray of Congress. 

“Then Jungle Fever 1991 – Official Selection in Competition, Girl 6 1996 – Official Selection out of Competition, Summer Of Sam1999 – Director’s Fortnight, Ten Minutes Older 2002 – Official Selection in Un Certain Regard and then BlacKkKlansman 2018 – Official Selection in Competition where it won the Grand Prix, which became the launching pad for the world theatrical release which led to my Academy Award for screenplay,” he continued. 

Many have felt that Lee has not gotten the respect he deserves as a filmmaker — at least not until fairly recently.

Despite being nominated four times across three decades, Lee wasn’t awarded an Academy Award until 2019 for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

“Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas. Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of president of the jury will he be? Find out in Cannes!” Cannes President Pierre Lescure and festival head Thierry Frémaux said in a statement.

In the New York Times profile leading up to his Oscar win, the paper examined the ways in which Lee has been relegated to the fringes of prestigious filmmaking: throughout his career, he has earned less money and received less funding than his white counterparts, and has had difficulty getting projects off the ground. 

Lee’s inclusion might be Cannes’ first big step in correcting its diversity issues.

“That’s the dilemma of a talented black artist in any field,” collaborator and author James McBride told the NY Times. “You have to recreate the genre, otherwise you don’t survive. Stevie Wonder is not a pop musician; Stevie Wonder is a genre. Michael Jackson is a genre to himself. Spike Lee has moved into that territory. Spike Lee is not short on talent. What Spike Lee is short on is friends in the industry, and the kind of space to fail. He has no room to fail.” 

While Cannes has struggled with diversity around black and women directors, Lee as a jury president could be a healthy step in allowing other perspectives in. 

“I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury and of a main film festival. The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship,” Lee said.

Kat Von D Just Announced That She’s Totally Cut Ties With Her Makeup Line Effective Immediately

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Kat Von D Just Announced That She’s Totally Cut Ties With Her Makeup Line Effective Immediately

katvond / Instagram

Kat Von D has become a titan in the beauty industry due to her eponymous makeup line’s ultra long-wear highly pigmented products that also happen to be vegan and cruelty free. 

And although fans have long looked to the Queen of Ink because of her unconventional aesthetic and beauty expertise, the Von D recently announced she has decided to permanently step back from her successful business to focus on other projects as well as her new family.

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This past year has been one of great change for me. As many of you know, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, launched my vegan shoe line, and am now busy prepping to release my long awaited album in the Spring, followed by an international tour! As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line, it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity. It's hard to admit this, since I’ve always said “You can do everything and anything.” But I don’t think admitting one's limits is a bad thing. With that said, I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that. The transition for you, my loyal customers, will be seamless. In order to avoid any confusion with such a big change, Kat Von D Beauty will take a moment to rebrand itself, so you will start noticing the change from KatVonD Beauty to KvD Vegan Beauty. I'd like to thank my beloved fans+followers who supported my vision to create a brand that stood for compassion, true artistry, and challenged modern ideals of beauty — most of which I never could relate to. I was able to create a makeup line that made outsiders like me feel like we have a place in this “beauty” world, and gave myself and others the tools to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether it was embraced by the majority or not. And I just couldn’t have done any of this without you! Lastly, thank you for understanding+respecting my choice, as it was a difficult one to make, but one I am proud of regardless, and am confident that the team will continue the KvD legacy! Here’s to many, many more years of KvD Vegan Beauty!

A post shared by 𝐊𝐀𝐓 𝐕𝐎𝐍 𝐃 (@thekatvond) on

On Thursday via Instagram, Kat Von D announced the unexpected news that she was selling her shares in Kat Von D Beauty in order to focus on other projects.

@thekatvonD/Instagram

In the lengthy statement, Von D explained that 2019 had been a year of “great change” due to the birth of her baby boy as well as her expansion into music. She went on to explain that, while she tried to balance all of her projects to the best of her ability, she wasn’t able to fully contribute to each of her projects at “maximum capacity.” Therefore, she would be officially stepping down from Kat Von D Beauty.

“I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years,” she said. “This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that.”

Von D went on to reveal that the beauty line would be re-branded as KvD Vegan Beauty in order to “avoid any confusion” for the brand’s customers.

@kvdveganbeauty/Instagram

Although the Sephora-based Kat Von D Beauty came out of the gate strong–even being named Sephora’s fastest-growing brand in 2018–the brand subsequently suffered from a highly-publicized dip in sales after Von D herself was embroiled in multiple controversies. Among the controversies was Von D declaring that she would not be vaccinating her child. Additionally, Von D had long been plagued by accusations of antisemitism throughout her career. 

The line will in all likelihood be in good hands with the LVMH beauty incubator Kendo, which also produces other popular brands like Fenty Beauty and Marc Jacobs. The former Kat Von D Beauty website has already been updated with the name change along with a statement from the CEO of Kendo. “I want to thank Kat for helping to change the beauty industry with us,” the statement reads. “We are fully positioned to continue the brand’s growth and development in both product and marketing…The same KENDO team that made history with KVD Vegan Beauty is ready to do it again.”

Since its inception, Von D has been extremely hands-on with her makeup line, involved in every aspect of the business from product inception to packaging.

@thekatvonD/Instagram 

“I name every shade, design every piece of packaging, help choose the colors and textures, the finishes and formulations,” she told HELLO! magazine in 2016. “There isn’t a font used on my packaging – I personally design and draw every letter on it. I even curate the content for our Instagram. I poured myself 100 per cent into this and I know that my customers appreciate that.”

And the tattoo artist and television personality obviously hit a chord with customers who felt connected to her through her products. In addition, Kat Von D’s products were truly high-quality at an affordable price-point. You could say that Von D was a trailblazer in the media personality-turned-businesswoman model that so many celebrities have since tried to replicate.

As for fans of Kat Von D, they took the news with a mixture of admiration, disappointment, and acceptance. 

Kat Von D has such a devoted fan base that many of them would follow her to the ends of the earth.

This person expressed undying devotion to Von D, no matter what she decides to do next:

Some Kat Von D supporters are ride-or-die.

This person thanked Kat for all she’s done for the beauty community.

Part of Kat Von D’s appeal is that she’s always marched to the beat of her own drum. For her, makeup was a means of artistic expression, not a means of blending in with everyone else.

This person shared a touching story about how Von D’s past generosity changed her life.

This kind of personal touch is hard to replicate once a brand becomes super corporate. 

This person was 100% supportive of Von D’s decision to step back.

It’s especially hard to juggle so many products as a new mom.

This person was just excited to hear Kat’s new album.

Not many people go from being a makeup mogul to being a rock-star. Talk about a pivot.