The Big Picture: Challenging Fashion Stereotypes | Photography

ByDavid M. Conte

Sep 26, 2021

NOTadine Ijewere grew up in Peckham, south-east London, and until she picked up a camera in sixth grade, she planned to study medicine. At school there was a darkroom where she could process the film and the excitement of seeing the colors of her first rolls come to life changed her career path and earned her a place at the London College of Fashion. On weekends, she and her friends would take out suitcases full of clothes from their wardrobes and drag them to the local park to get dressed and have fun; she was the designated photographer. Within a few years she was in high demand, campaigning for Stella McCartney in Lagos, seeing some of her photos of siblings on display at Tate Britain; in 2018, aged just 26, she made headlines as the first woman of color to pull a blanket for Vogue, with a photograph featuring Dua Lipa celebrating “the future”.

Ijewere took this picture for the the Wall Street newspaper‘s WSJ. Magazine in 2019, in a fashion report devoted to the spring dress. His energy is typical of his work, which is brought together in a new monograph titled Ourselves. The photos demonstrate her commitment to joyfully blowing up any narrow ideas of beauty that the fashion industry still clings to. Interviewed for her book, Ijewere recounts how, “When I first started exploring photography in the magazines I was flipping through, I was like, ‘Well…’ I never saw someone who really looked like my friends. or someone I can relate to. in these pictures. Whether they were people of color or black women, they were all fair skinned and had European features. If they had curly hair, it was blow-dried to match white women. None of my friends really looked like this.

Its mission is to remedy this.

Ourselves by Nadine Ijewere is published by Prestel (£ 39.99) on October 5


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