Essence Mag Hires Its First White Fashion Director – UPDATE!

Fashion & Beauty, Featured

Essence magazine – the 40-year old publication dedicated to celebrating the beauty of Black women – has just hired it’s first White fashion director. This news, which first hit the public from a tweet posted by cultural critic Michaela angela Davis, is causing a strong reaction from staff members and loyal readers of the publication. Essence has yet to make the formal public annoucement. According to media site, Media Bistro, the new director is Ellianna Placas, formerly of O: The Oprah Magazine and US Weekly. It is speculated that since Time Warner now owns the publication, the powers that be might have had a hand in this hiring decision. Click here to read more about the public’s response to this news.

What do you think? Can a White fashion director continue the legacy that was started and directed by women of color for the last 40 years? Or has Essence made a drastic mistake?

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UPDATE: Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray responds to the reaction of hiring a White fashion director.

2 Comments on "Essence Mag Hires Its First White Fashion Director – UPDATE!"

  1. tashmoney Jul 29, 2010 · 10:36 am

    i’m the negro that voted it’s reverse racism. and funny enough I actually feel that way. and maybe it’s because I don’t have an emotional connection with fashion, fashion magazines or even essence that I can stand back and look at it with relative impartiality (I am after all black).

    i am aware of the exclusion and disparity of black folk in positions of fashion editor or director throughout the industry so to a point I can sympathize with the initial, mental WTF. but as one of the few black magazines worth it’s salt, i just have to give Essence, the editor in chief AND it’s new publisher the benefit of the doubt. if ever there was a publication that wanted a black fashion director, it’s this one. I’m sure they’ll hire a black person again, just this time it’s a white girl. folks need to give her her props and move on.

  2. Chris L Jul 29, 2010 · 3:00 pm

    Essence is a big time magazine and you can’t discriminate when it comes to hiring the best people. We can’t fight about equal opportunity, but close the doors when it comes to our “black-owned” businesses. Time Warner owns the publication, and I’m pretty sure they know who the magazine’s target audience is. If this white woman is the best candidate that applied for the position, you can’t hate the magazine for hiring her.

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