So Visible!

The fall and winter sewing pattern magazines and catalogs got a lot more colorful this year.

I almost dropped my tea when I saw this Burda cover:

November 2020 Burda cover

I don’t ever remember seeing a nonwhite model on a Burda cover – you Burda fans out there tell me if I am wrong, but isn’t this a major development? Anyway, I promised I wouldn’t buy Burda until they diversified their cover models, and now I feel I can buy this. It will take more than one issue, though, to convince me that Burda is committed to diversity.

If that’s surprising, how about a whole seasonal catalog full of nonwhite models? Check out the Winter 2020 Simplicity catalog:

Simplicity Winter 2020 Catalog

I have been buying Simplicity patterns since the 1980s and I don’t ever recall seeing a whole catalog like this devoted to so many nonwhite faces.

Not to be outdone, Butterick offered this catalog. Butterick is aiming for the older sewist, so we get older and nonwhite models:

Butterick catalog

Even Joann got on the diversity train. Its sale circular this week was almost exclusively nonwhite models, and some of them are older, too:

Montage of pictures from this week’s Joann circular.

It’s not as if these modeling gigs will end racism – in the sewing community or anywhere else – but I think it’s a start and a demonstration that large corporate interests in the US and abroad are listening to the desire for diversity.

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

7 thoughts on “So Visible!”

  1. I think they may have used a non-white model in their Burda Easy magazines, which are typically geared towards younger audiences, but I don’t recall many (if any) in the main monthly magazine, and definitely not on the cover. I think if they ever use a non white model in the Burda Plus section is when I will be really excited because the Burda Plus section has historically been *very* white. I think they work on magazines about 6 months in advance so it should be really interesting to see what happens in the next year with them, or if this was just something that came out of the events from this past summer.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for highlighting this. I’ll get more excited when we have regular non-white models in 3 or 4 years or more from now! Everywhere I look I see wall to wall advertising using black models/actors which is good for a start even though there has been considerable pushback. In the long run, I don’t think any non-black/POC want to see only POC models, but I hope this lasts and becomes a genuine thing, not a tick box moment.


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