Meet Ded­deh Howard.

Howard was raised in Liberia, West Africa, and cur­rent­ly lives in Los Ange­les. She is pur­su­ing a career in mod­el­ing, but has been denied by mul­ti­ple agen­cies who say they already have one or two black mod­els on their ros­ter. From her web­site, Secret of DD;

“Not to long ago it hap­pened to me that I would walk into var­i­ous fash­ion mod­el agen­cies and I would imme­di­ate­ly be com­pared to that one or two black mod­el that they had on the ros­ter. Even though I was told by those agen­cies that I have an amaz­ing look and wish they could rep­re­sent me, they already have a black mod­el. Besides hav­ing an abun­dance of white mod­els. It seemed as if one or two black mod­els on the ros­ter are enough to rep­re­sent us all. When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre.”

So, to make a point that black mod­els can be just as mar­ketable for lux­u­ry goods as white mod­els, Howard recre­at­ed 9 major fash­ion cam­paigns. This required her and pho­tog­ra­ph­er Raf­fael Dick­reuter to search for props and back­drops that matched the orig­i­nal cam­paigns.

“For this project I decid­ed to re-shoot sev­er­al of the inspir­ing and famous cam­paigns out there and try to show what they could look like with a black mod­el. Team­ing up with Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Raf­fael Dick­reuter it was a big chal­lenge to reverse engi­neer and re-shoot these images and get as close as pos­si­ble to the orig­i­nal. Even though it was a big chal­lenge it was impor­tant and nec­es­sary to do it.”

The result is a stun­ning pho­to series that has gone viral online. It more than proves the point that Howard has the chops to kill it in the mod­el­ing indus­try.

So what is Howard’s goal with this cam­paign?

“I hope this project can help to bring aware­ness back to the pos­i­tive side of black peo­ple. Unfor­tu­nate­ly we are rarely shown in a pos­i­tive light in the media, but can see count­less times when yet anoth­er black per­son gets shot or arrest­ed. See­ing Jas­mine Tookes wear­ing the most expen­sive bra at the Victoria’s Secret fash­ion show was so inspir­ing, we need more of those moments.”

Of course black women are beau­ti­ful, and of course they can mod­el their butts off, but that isn’t exact­ly the point. Many brands do not (and might nev­er) asso­ciate black­ness with lux­u­ry, class or fem­i­nin­i­ty. And even when brands do employ black faces, that might not be accom­pa­nied by a mean­ing­ful respect for black life. Right after a dozen black and Afro­L­ati­na mod­els walked the run­way for the Victoria’s Secret Fash­ion Show, a Victoria’s Secret man­ag­er in Alaba­ma kicked all the black women out of her store after just one was caught shoplift­ing. In a now delet­ed video, one of the black women lament­ed that she would nev­er expect this treat­ment giv­en how much mon­ey she has spent on the Victoria’s Secret brand over the years. If rep­re­sen­ta­tion does not lead to sub­stan­tive respect, is it worth bat­tling for?

Ladies, what are your thoughts? Do you love Howard’s cam­paign? Why or why not?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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15 Comments on "[Pic] Liberian Model Flawlessly Recreates 9 Major Fashion Campaigns"

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Jimi C.

Who gives a crap about her hair?! This woman, beau­ti­ful woman, did a won­der­ful job exe­cut­ing each pho­to. Her face is beau­ti­ful and she looks svelte. I’d ven­ture to say that the hair works for her. I love nat­ur­al hair but just because she has a weave does not dis­count her beau­ty or tal­ent not ONE BIT.


She nailed very look! Just went to her web­site, she is gor­geous!


I don’t care what any­one says, she killed EVERY sin­gle one of those pic­tures! Straight-haired or nat­ur­al, I don’t even care, Black women don’t have to be nat­ur­al to rep­re­sent Black beau­ty. Every one of those pic­tures are bet­ter than the orig­i­nals and I AM SHOOK!


She slayed but If she incor­po­rat­ed nat­ur­al hair tex­ture (even in weave form) It would have tak­en it to anoth­er lev­el. I JUST LOVE HOW OUR SKIN GLOWS IN PHOTOS, LIKE IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL

The white women slay in every pho­to because they are wear­ing their own hair. Until black women learn to ‘slay’ with their own hair then they will stay los­ing. Look to Naomi’s absent edges for proof of what hap­pens when you con­stant­ly try too hard to look like white women.I’m not sure what she is try­ing to prove. I hope fash­ion com­pa­nies con­tin­ue to hire their own white mod­els who wear their own hair. Maybe when black women start embrac­ing their own hair and stop emu­lat­ing white women and hope to be rec­og­nized that way can they be tak­en seri­ous­ly. She has… Read more »

I agree to. Weaves need burn­ing.

ashley watson
I am white women are wear­ing their real hair in these pics . Do you real­ly think that all of these white women have straight hair ? I am tired of rules being put on black women . Why couldn’t just embrace our beau­ty , accom­plish­ments , our dri­ve , our pas­sion ; every­thing we are has come down to our hair ; to
What garbage you spew. White women wear hair that looks like their own. No one is putting any lim­i­ta­tions on black women. Why aren’t they wear­ing nat­ur­al Afro wigs and hair that looks like their own? When I rock a weave you bet­ter believe its a kinky tex­ture, 4b/4c that looks like my own hair. That bone straight non­sense does NOT look good on black women because their real hair does not look like that. Espe­cial­ly West African women and their fea­tures. Its not about skin col­or because Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi women are as dark as black women but their… Read more »
LittleBabyBug Jones

i’m so gonna have to agree with you. i noticed that about her hair as well, and it is dis­ap­point­ing to me.


I love her look and cam­paigns! She ROCKED IT!!!

Metiya Chique

She is so beau­ti­ful. I do love the shots of her with her nat­ur­al hair the most. It’s just sad she has to even do this to high­light a prob­lem. It would be great if we could live in a world where all women were empow­ered to feel beau­ti­ful and be suc­cess­ful but I sup­pose it’s our work to pro­vide that rep­re­sen­ta­tion and empow­er­ment for the next gen­er­a­tion.


She looks flaw­less with a healthy glow, bet­ter shoul­ders, bet­ter legs, and her body is more toned…enough said.

LittleBabyBug Jones

one. build your own, rather than ask for a seat at the racist white table. two. i pre­ferred the white mod­els’ cam­paigns because i felt that the black mod­el kept smil­ing with that slight upturned crease at the cor­ners of her mouth. the white mod­els looked more seri­ous in each of their pic­ture, where­as in every one, or almost every one, the black mod­el looked more smi­ley, with more of a play­ful inter­pre­ta­tion or char­ac­ter. she didn’t real­ly embody the “mood” of the mod­el, but her pos­es were com­pet­i­tive and on par.


Once again, build our own, then we can hire as many black mod­els as we want. 

This is a nev­er end­ing cycle.


I agree, when I see the com­par­i­son I real­ize that there aren’t any more excus­es for the absence of such tal­ents oth­er than covert dis­crim­i­na­tion. All we can do is turn to black owned agen­cies and labels.