Must Read: Billy Porter Covers ‘Essence,’ Suzy Menkes Is Leaving ‘Vogue’

Billy Porter on the July/August issue of

Billy Porter on the July/August issue of “Essence.” 

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Wednesday.

Billy Porter covers Essence
Dressed in a custom, African American flag-inspired gown by stylist and designer Jason Rembert, Billy Porter stars on the July/August issue of Essence. This is the first time the magazine has featured a gay man on its cover. Inside the issue, the “Pose” lead opens up about starting important conversations — from the need to vote to the numerous murders of Black trans women. {Essence

Suzy Menkes is leaving Vogue International
International editor Suzy Menkes is the latest name to drop off the Vogue masthead. Condé Nast announced the news on its website Wednesday morning, writing that it has canceled its annual Luxury Conference as a result of her departure, as well as “ongoing uncertainty” from Covid-19. {Business of Fashion

Telfar Clemens addresses his canceled Gap collaboration
When news broke of Kanye West‘s 10-year deal with Gap last week, it raised questions about the retailer’s previously reported collaboration with Telfar. Gap later confirmed that it had indefinitely postponed its Telfar collection. In an interview with The New York Times, Clemens and Telfar creative director Babak Radboy clarified rumors surrounding the collection’s cancellation, saying they are glad to be free of the project, because they don’t agree with how Gap “let down its supplier factories.” They also noted that they have nothing but love and respect for West and Mowalola Ogunlesi, the Nigerian-British designer, who has been named design director for the Yeezy Gap project. {The New York Times

Why Condé Nast is struggling to evolve 
Condé Nast has become a powerhouse publisher “by packaging and selling an image of multi-generational wealth and privilege as the highest form of aspiration.” And while consumers still aspire to fancy things, the key signifiers of status have changed. Business of Fashion spoke with current and former employees of the century-old publisher, who say that its “exclusionary company culture and pressured business model” are frustrating the company’s efforts to modernize. {Business of Fashion

Black hairstylists speak out about being ignored in the beauty industry
In WWD‘s latest “Outside View” series, Zadrian Smith chats with Black hairstylists Yusef, Nai’vasha and Marcia Lee about how the beauty industry does not value Black hair or the creatives who know how to do it. In order for Black hairstylists to excel, they argued that they have to speak in unison. “We have to stop being afraid of losing opportunities and being validated by a community of people and a community of artists who don’t accept us anyway,” Nai’vasha said. “They accept our work, but they don’t accept us as a human.” {WWD

Is CBD skin care a scam?
In a new piece for Gossamer, Charlotte Palermino critically examines CBD skin care. Since there is no government body paying close attention to the beauty industry, “it’s not hard for a brand to legally bend the truth around science, dosing and formulations,” she writes. And since there has been no real clinical testing on human subjects that confirm the effects of CBD, brands are not equipped with the necessary research to know the best way to deliver cannabinoids or make any solid claims on the benefits of the products. {Gossamer

The Black, queer origins of streetwear
Willi Smith, a Philadelphia-born gay Black man, whose label generated millions in the ’70s and ’80s, is among the people who laid the foundation for brands like Hood By Air and Supreme to thrive, but he’s often forgotten. In a piece for Input, designer James Flemons of Phlemuns discusses his importance in mainstream streetwear and how he paved the way for other Black, queer designers to shape contemporary fashion. {Input

Homepage photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence

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