Does the world of advertising suffer from a lack of diversity? One photographer certainly thinks so, and to highlight the issue, has faithfully recreated some of the best known advertising campaigns of recent years to imagine what they would look like with a black model instead of the white models predominately used within the industry. Entitled "Black Mirror," the project is the work of Los Angeles-based photographer Raffael Dickreuter and his girlfriend, model Deddeh Howard. Dickreuter believes it was being part of an interracial couple which first opened his eyes to the lack of diversity in the photography of many of the world’s leading brands.
We live in a globalized world now, with many interracial couples producing the next generation of mixed races. I feel that is not represented much by all the big brands out there.
Undertaking the "Black Mirror" project by recreating famous campaign images of brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and more was not without its fair share of challenges. In order to give most impact to the issue, Dickreuter wanted to match the style and mood of the each image as closely as possible. From calculating how the advertisements were lit to scouting locations to match the original, he knew from the start that undertaking this project would be a daunting task.
The biggest challenge turned out to be the shot I was most passionate about: the Guess campaign with Gigi Hadid on an old motorcycle. It took a while to even figure out what exact motorcycle that was. Simply similar would not cut it. It turned out that it was a rare 1939 Indian Chief, and only very few exist.
In undertaking the Black Mirror project, Dickreuter and Howard hope to shine a light on the lack of diversity within the world fashion and advertising by demonstrating how many of the campaign images would work equally well with black models as well as white.
Simply too many fashion shots these days look all the same. More creativity would be amazing and would also provide great opportunities for us photographers. I hope this project brings some awareness to the issue and just opens up the creative space in the world of advertisement a bit. We live in the year 2016.
All Images used with permission of Raffael Dickreuter