‘Vogue’ Translator MIA; Arlenis Says ‘Sí! Sí!’

Oscar de la Renta Resort collection. Photo: Courtesy of Vogue

"Sí, sí! Happy! Now work — wor—king! — for … for … important people! Steven Meisel, Oscar de la Renta, sí! Yes! Besos!" In Vogue's July article titled "Is Fashion Racist?" these are the only words Arlenis Sosa, one of the spotlighted black models, utters. We combed through the article three times, hoping this wasn't true. But it is. Of course, Sosa is brand-new, having signed at Marilyn in March, so she can't have a huge amount to say about modeling's current state. And, yes, Sosa doesn't speak much English just yet. But surely Vicki Woods, the article's author, could have shelled out for a translator on Vogue's tab? Woods is, after all, meant to be "investigat[ing] our colorless catwalks and meet[ing] the models making a difference." What sort of an introduction to Sosa are a few broken, enthusiastic words? Sure, the model rocks the hell out of a floor-length Donna Karan.  But if the piece is really supposed to make a case for the great black girls the public is missing out on, at least let us hear what she has to say. We're guessing her words may be as stunning as her face.
Kendall Herbst