Lanvin“Ah ah, who are all these white girls?”

“Do you not like black women Toks?”

“Nice website, but how about a little colour maaan?”

Hold up people! I am a lover of all things dudu-related. I just happen to be a little colour blind when stressed, under pressure and working towards a ridiculous deadline.

I didn’t notice a thing until the comments started to pour in. When you’re restricted to (a) high fashion campaigns (meaning shoots in magazines don’t count), (b) horizontal images to fit the slideshow, (c) high-resolution images i.e. 1200 x 1200 pixels or higher (sorry to get technical), and (d) colourful, contextual images that will escape Fiona’s power of veto… You’re just grateful when you find anything at all.

The complaints from my friends, their friends and their friends’ baby-mamas, sent me running back to google yesterday, frantically searching for some women of colour. And guess what? I didn’t find a single one. Aside from Naomi Campbell whose recent campaigns only include YSL and Louis Vuitton (isn’t that just shocking for someone of Naomi’s stature?) the only pictures I could find were from Liya Kebede’s incredibly brief stint at Lanvin. And they were tiny. Plus she wasn’t even the star of the bloody show! A very white and very pale Raquel Zimmerman was in there too! I remember Fiona bringing this issue up a while ago, and me replying that we had already used Naomi’s YSL campaign to death on both the posters and the e-vites for Mint Condition, and that I really didn’t think it would matter. But I can see that it does! Every single person I’ve spoken to since Sunday’s web launch has raised the issue.

On a serious note though… Why are none of the big name black models fronting the high fashion campaigns? A google search for Alek Wek turned up squat, same for Oluchi, Tyra (though can’t say I’m surprised) and newbie Chanel Iman. What’s more, if Naomi, who wines and dines with the best of them, only managed to bag two campaigns under her belt in recent times, while Kate ‘We Love You But Seriously Woman, Take A Break!’ Moss continues to turn up everywhere, I am inclined to think that something fishy is underway. Aren’t you? Do black women not photograph as well? Obviously we do, otherwise we wouldn’t feature in the beauty campaigns or in shoots for fashion magazines. So why isn’t one of us flaunting this year’s must have accessories? Would the world really be a different place if Jordan Dunn and not Christy ‘Same Face Every Time’ Turlington, was rocking a croissant in one hand and a 2.55 in the other?

I have half a mind to bring this up with Anna (Wintour, I mean) when next we do lunch at Cipriani. Or maybe I’ll mention it to Largie (Karl, that is) over a spot of tea at The Ivy. Till then, I’ll just content myself with yam and egg stew at Robert’s CafĂ©, and send out this S.O.S. —> If you have images, any images at all that align with the criteria listed before, and feature beautiful beautiful black women, you know my email address. Oops maybe you don’t… It’s tokini {at} fashionauctionhouse {dot} com.

And if you’re thinking, “STOP WHINGEING AND TAKE YOUR OWN BLOODY PHOTOS!” as one of my guy friends yelled this afternoon (the yelling was via BBM but still packed a powerful punch) then I will have to ask you to wait until the auction is over, to see what more we have in store. Though what we bring to life will depend on how much you all spend at the auction. So get your butts to Saipan on Sunday and… Bid, Bid, BID!!!