The first T: The New York Times Style Magazine under the guidance of Deborah Needleman hit newsstands this past Sunday. While the new T was packed with content and ads (the issue was so massive we considered doing bicep curls with it), something else stuck out to readers: The models featured were pretty much all white.
To her credit, Needleman realized and regretted the overwhelming whiteness found within T’s pages. In a response to the Times’ public editor, she pledged to correct the discrepancy going forward:
It was something I noticed and regretted as we were putting the issue together. We are a global magazine and so would like the content , subjects and geography of stories to reflect that. In coming issues, we cover the people and places of Seoul, São Paulo, Kenya, Bollywood actors, Nigeria, etc. A majority of fashion models are still unfortunately mostly white, but it is our aim to celebrate quality and beauty in all its diverse forms. We can and will aim to do better, but our goal is first and foremost to deliver the best stories we find, and it is my belief that quality and good journalism appeal to all of us regardless of our specific ethnic origins.
Now if we could just get Needleman to admit the new logo is a mistake too, we’d have real progress.