Next Stop Givenchy

Erykah Badu’s entrance onto the scene as the new face of fashion house Givenchy was even more unexpected than Beyoncé’s midnight album drop. Badu’s acoustics and eclectic style has always attracted the public’s attention. No longer calling Tyrone, Badu has expanded her art form, and the world seems to be embracing it. Badu has the public waiting on the edge of their seats to see the fruits of her labor.

Badu’s music has always had a turn towards activism and her choice to be a part of Givenchy may have similar roots. Givenchy is making a statement to the world with its choice to primarily use women of color as their campaign models. Like many other aspects of society, the fashion industry has largely remained homogeneous in its choice of models; often excluding men and women of non-European descent. Though models of color are now more commonly seen, they are still a minority in the fashion industry. Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci says, “What I want to do with my advertising campaign is spread the love. Already now it’s been three seasons that I’ve been using people that express something…”  Tisci hopes that the rest of the fashion industry will catch up to him and remove the barriers from their runways that promote the exclusion of black and Latin models.

Shots were fired with “Window Seat”, Badu’s lead single from her album New Amerykah Part Two, at what Badu condemned as “groupthink”.  Badu explained that groupthink creates conformity and allows people to guiltlessly turn a blind eye to the wrongs that take place daily. Tisci would probably agree that groupthink has played a large role in models of color being overlooked.

One can only expect great things to come from Badu’s center stage as the face of Givenchy. It is very much possible that Badu will not only give the fashion world versatility and beautifully stoic images of herself in Givenchy, but also awareness to the plague of conformity.

They say the darker the berry the sweeter the juice, and for Givenchy you can’t get any darker than a world renowned neo soul artist such as Erykah Badu.