Beautiful but Weird: Stella Jean Swimwear 2013

Everyone who has been following this blog knows that I adore the designs from Stella Jean. She really creates beautiful, modern pieces with African Print inspired materials. Her accessories, the styling – everything is on point. I had a chance to interview her a year ago.

BUT after seeing her latest swimwear collection, I do wonder why she is never using black models or models of color. That is just weird to me, especially given her heritage (read the interview) and the obvious inspiration by the African continent. Don’t get me wrong: I still love her swimwear and would love to buy one of the bikinis. Am I being overly critical? Curious to hear your thoughts!

  1. Not too critical at all – I think you make a valid point. It's downright bizarre if you ask me.

  2. *le sigh* I love Stella Jane's designs but they are just SO costly. You are not being critical at all. I haven't seen one black model (yet) either wearing her clothes. Another reason (in addition to the cost) why it would be hard for me to purchase from her line.

  3. Hello. I understand your remark about the models, but knowing that Stella Jean is living in Italy, maybe it's a marketing strategy in order to reach the more clients possible. So the italian woman can identify themselves better with the brand. So she uses only white models.
    Still she could do it like Colors of Benetton and use models from all cultures. Maybe you should write to her and express yourself to her directly.

  4. hmmm….maybe she's trying to appeal to a wider market and show that African prints are not just for African/Caribbean girls?

    but then if that was the case, she could still use different models…..designers are known for having their preferences; regardless of who their market may be

  5. I totally agree. Her suits are awesome. Sad that she doeant use darker skinned models. I would love to know her rationale behind that.

  6. Hi there, yes she is in Italy but I am sure she wants to reach a global audience – as all brand usually do. Give or take, using “Africa” as inspiration and not even using one black model once on the runway or in her collections, is just something I don't understand.

  7. Hi Chi-Chi, yes I think she could at least use different models.
    And why should using black models appeal to a “Black” audience only? Giving the context she is using for her designs, I just really think it is very strange that no model of color EVER appears in her collections or on the runway.

  8. Critical? No way, you've made a valid point but perharps she does have her reasons ( which I'll like to hear considering the fact that she is after all of African heritage). The swimwear designs are quite nice though, showing the versatility of African print, but a little out there for me(I'm just saying…….).

  9. valid point indeed! i don't know why she doesn't, not sure if she ever will use Black models. i LOVE her designs. but more than her choices of marketing tactics and models, i'm so ostracized by her price point!!! stella, please dear, huge sale one day. please & thank you.

  10. lovely designs…but who is her audience…honestly if she is marketing african prints to a European market then thats fine but she just lost me cause i just cant relate to this.

  11. Please, somebody, interview her and ask her why no women of color? I wanna know. Otherwise, my imagination is going crazy and its all bad.

  12. Somebody, please, just ask her! I'm waiting for her response. It is really a turn-off. Maybe she has a valid reason although I cannot imagine one. Just being real but trying to be open-minded.

  13. Weird? To who and for who? How is African Tribal print weird? Culture vultures… this kinda piss me off.