*Erykah Badu can officially add model to her resume.
French fashion house Givenchy has tapped the singer as one of the new faces of its Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The line features long, draped dresses inspired by Africa, fused with Japanese elegance via obi belts and kimono-style tuxedo jackets.
It is also modeled entirely by women of color.
“Erykah, she’s an icon – come on! She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” said Givenchy’s Ricardo Tisci. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.
”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 – they are great artists, or beautiful women, or stylish women, or models that I really believe in. It’s kind of a family portfolio.”
Tisci posted the above picture of himself with Erykah on Instagram, which was met with positive reactions from his followers.
The designer also gave love to what he calls his “new discoveries” in the campaign, namely: “black goddesses Maria Borges and Riley and model Dominik Bauer.” He’s hoping their selection will set an example for the rest of the industry and help chip away at racism on the runway.
“It’s 2013,” he said. “Everybody’s being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media – everybody’s being so open. At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is black!
“When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.”
Ricardo also touched upon the Diversity Coalition’s tireless campaign to shame designers who only used white models on the runway. He said: ”There was a lot of talk this season in fashion. I was one of the persons who ended up not being touched by this. I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges].
“I’ve always been supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we are all the same.”