Meet author Antwaun Sargent, whose book The New Black Vanguard addresses a radical transformation taking place in fashion and art today.
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The presentation of black figures and black runway and cover models in the media and art has been one marker of increasingly inclusive fashion and art communities. More critically, however, the contemporary visual vocabulary around beauty and the body has been reinfused with new vitality and substance thanks to an increase in powerful images authored by an international community of black photographers.
In a richly illustrated essay, Sargent opens up the conversation around the role of the black body in the marketplace; the cross-pollination between art, fashion, and culture in constructing an image; and the institutional barriers that have historically been an impediment to black photographers participating more fully in the fashion (and art) industries.
Fifteen artist portfolios feature the brightest contemporary fashion photographers, including Dana Scruggs, Micaiah Carter, Quil Lemons, Arielle Bobb-Willis, and Tyler Mitchell. Alongside a series of conversations between generations, their images and stories chart the history of inclusion, and exclusion, in the creation of the commercial black image, while simultaneously proposing a brilliantly reenvisioned future.
Antwaun Sargent is an independent writer, curator, and critic whose work has been published in the New Yorker, New York Times, W, Vogue, VICE, and various museum catalogues, among other publications.