'Vogue' Paris Needs To Diversify

They may be one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world, but that doesn't mean they're always ahead of the curve. Vogue Paris put a model of color on their most recent cover, and shockingly, it's the first time in five years.

The French edition of Vogue's May 2015 issue features Ethiopian model Liya Kebede on the cover, looking sultry in a wildly patterned jumpsuit from Christian Dior's spring 2015 Haute Couture collection. Kebede poses crouching down against a bright red backdrop, and with her bouncy curls, beautifully bronzed skin, and penetrating stare — it's certainly a head turning cover. Which makes it all the more surprising that it took half a decade for the glossy to deviate from a white cover model.

Kebede has graced Vogue's cover before, most recently in May 2002, and other women of color including Naomi Campbell and Noémi Lenoir were featured on covers in 2008, but it should be noted that they also shared these covers with a white supermodel (Kate Moss and Laetitia Casta, respectively).

As much as I want to celebrate this captivating cover, it's almost a double-edged sword. I can't help but cringe at Vogue Paris' lack of diversity, and if anything, this cover seems to highlight how behind the times they are. The fact that we're even talking about a woman of color making a cover pretty much says it all.

But regardless, let's not let that detract from Kebede's magnetic beauty. Hopefully this starts a new trend of covers featuring gorgeous woman of all different backgrounds.

Images: Vogue Paris; Getty Images