Harper’s Bazaar didn’t want to run Richard Avedon’s photos of China Machado because the mag was worried they’d lose subscribers in the South. They felt China was too exotic looking. Avedon said he’d quit if Harper’s didn’t run them. Three years after that, Machado was an editor at Harper’s Bazaar.
Pat Cleveland, who is mixed race but traveled with black models to Ebony Fashion Fairs, teared up while telling a story of an angry mob in the South trying to overturn her bus. Bethann Hardison told a story about being called for a recommendation for a black girl to walk in a runway show, like it was an enlightened thing. She was to be one of 36 models, the rest of whom were white. One of the models asked: when a designer says a girl doesn’t fit his “aesthetic,” isn’t that racist?