leomie anderson sounds off on her survival kit for black models

i-D catches up with the British model about her latest video, which addresses an issue she has been vocal about: hair and make-up teams who are unprepared to work with black models backstage at fashion weeks around the world.

by Charlotte Gush
29 February 2016, 3:45pm

"As you may or may not know, being a black model is extra hard," Brit model Leomie Anderson explains at the start of her latest video. It's a response to the issue of hair and makeup teams being unprepared to work with black models backstage at fashion shows, an issue she has recently been vocal about on social media. In the wake of Australian model Ajak Deng announcing her retirement from the industry because of ignorance she faced as a black model, Leomie explains that for black models, "there's extra work, there's extra things involved."

The industry must work to ensure that black models can expect the same professional treatment as non-black models, but until that point is reached, Anderson presents her practical tips and products for black skin and hair, as well as a solution the 'nude' underwear nightmare. She advises black models to, "be vocal, because the worst feeling in the world is knowing that you're about to go on the runway and look shit." i-D caught up with Leomie to find out more...

What prompted you to post this video?
After dealing with situations where I had to supply my own products or makeup numerous times during fashion week and speaking to black models about it every season, I just felt it was necessary information to put out there. After my tweets about fashion week spread, I thought I should do the video to inform people.

How do you feel about Ajak Deng quitting the industry after facing so much ignorance?
It's sad that she felt the need to quit the fashion industry; black models face so many more obstacles and I know it's tiring. I hope that Ajak leaving really brings home to people that we do feel neglected in the industry.

What is your advice for aspiring black models?
My advice to new face black models is to find your voice and speak up if you're unhappy or uncomfortable with something -- we shouldn't be made to feel like we are asking for too much if we want our makeup to be adjusted or something like that. And support other black models -- we aren't in competition with each other!

black models
leomie anderson