Vogue Italia Editor Franca Sozzani Reveals Plans For Africa Issue This Summer

You’d better plan on having your controversy pants pulled out of storage and dry cleaned before spring gets here. Franca Sozzani told us Sunday afternoon at Diane von Furstenberg‘s fall runway presentation that she’s currently working on another Africa-themed issue for L’Uomo Vogue that will be on newsstands in May or June.

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Sozzani (who had been chatting with Bravo head honcho Andy Cohen in the front row before we got to her) told us that more than simply being about Black people, this issue “about Africa, but about people who are from Africa. In a positive way. In a very positive way.”

The magazine has dedicated an entire issue to the people of Africa before — back in November 2008, she followed her controversy-making Black issue of Vogue Italia with the first African-themed L’Uomo Vogue. We are, of course, excited to see how this issue will be different from the last one, which, as Robin Givhan wrote in The Washington Post, featured everyone from Matt Damon to Michelle Obama “all expressing their affection for and their personal connection to Africa.”

While she declined to give us specifics about the issue (which, fair, since it’s months away from being done), Sozzani did say that it will go beyond designers and models who were born or have roots in Africa.

“It will be about the presidents, it will be about the people. But in a very positive way,” Sozzani reiterated. “I don’t want to say in a glamourous way, but I wanted to show the best side, but only the good side. There are a lot of talents, a lot of talented people in art, in music, in cinema and everywhere. So I really wanted to push that side.”

Whether she’ll get any push back for focusing on the lighter, friendlier side of Africa at a time when parts of the continent are still reeling from social uprising and genocide remains to be seen.

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