Essence Gets Rid of their White Fashion Editor
When news broke about Essence Magazine hiring a white fashion editor back in 2010, many loyal readers of the magazine–whose tagline is “Where Black Women Come First”– were shocked. Even those in the fashion community were puzzled by the magazine’s decision to grant one of the most coveted positions in the fashion world to a woman who was not a reflection of the demographic to which she was serving. Black women struggle to find opportunities in media, and many white magazines refuse to hire African Americans. So, the odd decision by Essence to hire a white female over qualified African American women angered millions across the country.
But now, Ellianna Placas, the white fashion editor who filled that coveted and influential role for two years has been fired, according to the New York Post. She served as fashion director at Essence for two years. We are not sure why she was fired, but the move is sure to draw the attention of loyal readers of the magazine, many of them African American women seeking media outlets that are reflective of their interests.
At the time of Placas’ hiring, many expressed their displeasure with the choice all over social media. Even former Essence fashion editor and image activist Michaela Angela Davis spoke out.
“It is with a heavy heavy heart I have learned that Essence magazine has engaged a white fashion director, this hurts, literally, spiritually.”I am so so hurt and confused and frankly angry by this news. I feel like a girlfriend has died,” she posted.
Many argued that there were equally qualified African-American women who could have filled the role, as Essence typically represents one of the few faces of color at fashion industry events, including Fashion Week. The New York Post is reporting that Placas’ departure had less to do with race and more to do with her butting heads with the magazine’s editor-in-chief Constance White. There is no word on her replacement.
Essence also drew attention earlier this year, when it turned out that a white managing editor, Michael Bullerdick, was posting racially-inflammatory comments on his Facebook page. Observers were curious as to how Bullerdick was given significant responsibilities with a leading black female publication when it was clear that his views did not align with the magazine’s demographic. Essence has changed quite a bit.
Powered by Facebook Comments