For its August 2015 issue, Teen Vogue declared its three cover models “Fashion’s New Faces.” The beauties, Imaan Hammam, Lineisy Montero and Aya Jones, are all black. Hammam, 18, is Egyptian-Moroccan and reportedly identifies as black; 20-year-old Jones is French-Ivorian; and Montero, 19, is Dominican.
In a time when women of color graced just 14 percent of last year’s major fashion magazine covers, featuring three black models is virtually unheard of. For all of last year, Teen Vogue only had one woman of color on the cover: Selena Gomez on the December 2013/January 2014 issue.
The accompanying article was written by Elaine Welteroth, the mag’s biracial—black and white—health and beauty director who was recently in the news when readers assumed the multiracial model she used in a story about Marley twists was white. (The model, Phillipa Steele, is reportedy Fijian, as well as Tongan, French, English and “American.”)
Welteroth shared a picture of the models on her Instagram feed, saying she’s “incredibly proud of this iconic cover”:
SO incredibly proud of this ICONIC @teenvogue cover. These magnificent beauties are changing the game just being who they are: Talented, poised, conscientious, self-assured, silly…I could go on and on. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to get to know you and to share your incredible stories with all the girls who look up to you. ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️ @hammamimaan @iamayajones @lineisymontero
A photo posted by Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelteroth) on Jul 1, 2015 at 4:46pm PDT