It's A Small World After All

An ethnic rainbow is brightening ads and fashion runways

The model gazes serenely at the magazine reader from the country-club cool of a Ralph Lauren ad. Dressed impeccably in a tweed jacket, silk scarf and elegant suede gloves, she projects all the dreamy remoteness that is typical of Lauren models, with one notable difference: she is black.

It was a long time coming, but an ethnic rainbow is finally sweeping across the fashion and advertising industries -- and brightening them considerably. The blond, blue-eyed ideal is out, diversity is in, and the concept of beauty is growing as wide as the world. The new cast of faces is appearing not...

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