Today I write this post saddened by the news that Conde Nast has rejected the idea of launching Vogue Africa. As expected, the news has caused differing views. While many were left disappointed and saw this as evidence that the West are still not willing to accept Africa and its creativity, it has been equally argued that Africa should build on it's own magazines as opposed to trying to align itself with a powerful brand like Vogue.
That said, the idea was the brainchild of Cameroonian make-up artist and photographer, Mario Epanya who has boldly expressed his dissatisfaction with the current situation. "I read my first Vogue in 1979 and have been buying it ever since," he said. "I always felt that African creativity was not represented."
Not content with the current state, Epanya contacted the director of Conde Nast directly but was dismissed. ".....About a month ago I sent the director of Conde Nast France a message via my friend, asking how I would go about getting a licence for Vogue Africa. He replied that no, it would not be possible to do the project."
Without using the racial card, having looked at the cover prototypes and read Epanya's ideas for the magazine it's hard to understand what grounds the concept was dismissed. Vogue is already published in 18 different countries including India and China so why not Vogue Africa? In an article written more than 25 years ago, it was predicted that black women will be responsible for over 50& of the health and beauty industry so why Africa continues to be ignored as a fashion and beauty hub is questionable.