2015 is over and done with, so it’s time to look back on every issue printed this year by Canada’s three top fashion magazines: Elle Canada, Fashion, and Flare, to see how diverse they were overall and compared to last year. Our last magazine up for scrutiny is Flare!
See Part 1 of our annual review on Elle Canada here.
See Part 2 of our annual review on FASHION here.
For a review of the Covers & Content project by The Closet Feminist, please check out the FAQ page here.
Closet Feminist Terminology
Whiteout Issue: an issue of a fashion magazine where neither the cover star nor models booked/used for any of the major editorials are people of colour.
Token Diversity Spread: When a fashion magazine books/uses an ensemble of models, including some models of colour or models representing other minorities in the fashion world (i.e., plus size models or visibly older models), but are careful not to allow the minorities chosen to make up the majority of the spread or the majority of models chosen
2015 was not a good year for diversity in Flare. They managed to do the same amount of Whiteout Issues as they did last year (5), meaning that they are the only magazine of the three examined here not to improve their Whiteout Issue count.
Flare tied with Elle Canada for most cover stars of colour–5 each. However, it should be noted that the March cover of Flare featured an ensemble of five models, but only one of the models was a woman of colour, essentially making their cover a Token Diversity Spread.
And now we go month-by-month…
Gillian Jacobs was on the cover.
There was one fashion editorial but it didn’t have any models (was just a accessories feature). Though there were no models in the editorial, I still count this as a Whiteout Issue since the focus of the major features was still on people who enjoy white privilege.
Olivia Palermo and her husband were on the cover.
There was one fashion editorial in the February issue of Flare, but it starred one thin, white model, making this issue a Whiteout Issue.
There were five women on the cover, models Jenna Lenfesty-Castilloux, Sophie Touchet, Shelby Furber, Charlotte Mingay, and Sasha Hronis. This is the cover equivalent of a Token Diversity Spread. The worst part is, is that in the article that the models were featured in, there were actually seven models total, including the five that were on the cover. There was one other model of colour besides Hronis–Ashley Foo. She and white model Nadiya Svirsky were not chosen for the cover. This is a crying shame as if Foo had been on the cover with Hronis, Flare’s efforts wouldn’t have been so transparently token.
There were two editorials in the March issue of Flare, not counting the cover story. Both featured a thin, white model each.
Tatiana Maslany was on the cover.
There was one fashion editorial in the April issue. Rather repeating the sins of the March issue, it was a Token Diversity Spread as there were five models booked, but only one of them was a woman of colour.
Hailee Steinfeld was on the cover.
There was one fashion editorial in the May issue, and it starred one thin, white model.
JUNE/JULY (Summer Issue)
The summer issue of Flare, covering June and July starred Eugenie Bouchard on the cover.
There were two editorials in the Summer issue of Flare. Both featured a thin, white model each, making this issue a Whiteout Issue.
Above: from the “Zen Mastery” editorial in Flare Summer 2015
One of the editorials was particularly offensive, featuring a white model running around in Japanese-inspired clothing (pictured above).
Kate Mara was on the cover.
Above: from Flare October 2015
There was one fashion editorial, starring Grace Mahary!
Karlie Kloss was on the cover
This issue was an embarrassment in many ways. Kloss was on the cover of what turned out to be a heavily sponsored-by-Joe-Fresh advertorial–for Flare‘s SEPTEMBER issue, people! There were two fashion editorials (not counting the Joe Fresh advertorial) starring thin, white models. As such, the September issue for Flare was a Whiteout Issue.
Lea Michele was on the cover.
There were two fashion editorials, both starring thin, white models.
Selena Gomez was on the cover.
Above: from the “Joyhood” editorial in Flare November 2015
There were two fashion editorials both starring thin, white models. However, one of the editorials (pictured above) had some beautiful gender-bending happening, which we wrote about here.
Zendaya was on the cover.
There was one fashion editorial to close out the year, starring one thin, white model.