Willow Smith made her debut with Chanel this week, as the face of the Fall 2016 eyewear collection. The partnership was announced at the Fall 2016 fashion show in March. The 15 year old rocks a pair of Chanel shades in a black-and-white video for the company, also sporting a septum piercing and dreads. This is important, especially because Willow is an actual African American woman wearing dreads rather than a white woman. Cultural appropriation has been rampant throughout the modeling world, and we are happy that Chanel decided to take a different step.
According to The Fashion Spot, almost 80% of runway models are white and so this really is monumental. Black models made up only 8.5% of castings. The last time Chanel used a model with dreads was in 2012 and they were … white. We are happy to see Chanel moving in a more culturally aware direction and look forward to seeing more from this collection.