Style Scoop: Naturals in the ‘Zines

The natural movement isn’t just something we’re seeing on the blogs or even in the streets and stores—it’s something that is catching on EVERYWHERE including the “Beauty Bibles” aka big-name, mainstream glossy magazines featuring the latest and greatest from the world of style and fashion.  I can remember a not too long ago time when I could pick up a glossy magazine and almost every single black woman would be sporting a perfectly coiffed weave, relaxer or a cropped’n’close natural fade.  Today, you can open up the same mags and find a bounty of natural curls, kinks, and coils.  Some are models while others are movers and shakers simply gracing the pages of the mags.  Either way, its a sight that is truly indicative that our movement of texture is not only growing, but THRIVING.  Here’s some snapshots (torn from recent issues of Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire) of natural textures in the magazines that caught my eye!


Lorna Simpson


A Brooklyn-based artist currently working on pieces featuring vintage haircare ads whose work deals with powerful themes of the African-American condition and representation in popular media.  Her work is currently on display at the Studio Museum in Harlem.


Yaya DaCosta

Photographed alongside the two designers of Suno, an Indian-inspired clothing line that draws from traditional Kenyan motifs and patters to create gorgeous multi-textured pieces–the perfect complement to gorgeous multi-textured hair.




Now really, how often do we see Jigga, one of the most well-dressed men in the biz without his signature close cut and shave??  I loved this snap because he dressed up his look for this black-tie affair with a longer-do that shows off his texture that is truly distinctive.  Maybe–just maybe– we’ll see a his’n’hers natural style from this iconic duo!


But until Beyonce decides to embrace her curls, we’ll always have her sister Solange who is all over the style pages of these mags!  Making the rounds at all sorts of fashion events, she’s been getting lots of shout outs from editors for her outfits featuring bold prints and loose cuts paired with her signature curls.

Elle Varner


A full page story on Elle Varner in…well, ELLE, but who cares— look at those curls!  And those brows.  And that collar.  And those polka dots.  This chick is really a girl after my own heart rocking her vintage style with modern appeal.  Oh so why did she get her own full page?  Elle (the woman in the pic) is a recording artist that Elle (the magazine) claims to have a “mix of scratchy funk and soaring soul” reminiscent of Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys.  Filing this one under C for “Check Out Soon!”

Esperanza Spalding


I will admit that I was a sleeper on the whole Esperanza thing.  I bought her album for my dad for Christmas last year, wrote about her hair on this blog before, but had never listened to her albums.  That is until I was on my way to Seattle last week and put one of them on and really haven’t stopped listening to it since!  I really haven’t– in fact, I’m listening to Chamber Music Society RIGHT NOW.  I love it.  And here she is featured in Elle as one of their “Women who Rocked 2011″.  AND HOW!  Great album[s].  Excited for the next!

Carly Cushnie


Carly is one half of the Parsons-educated design duo Cushnie and Ochs.  This 27-year old, UK-born designer had me at the blonde curls (pulled back on the sides for a “High and Tight” effect”, but then sealed the deal with her classy-yet-fierce one shoulder LBD.


So there’s my round up of who’s who in the natural world on the pages of the mags these months and I think it’s a great way for us to be introduced to noteworthy naturals.  It’s truly refreshing to see A. so many creative African Americans acknowledged for their work and contributions to their respective industries and then B. being at the forefront of their games and rocking their unique individual styles.  I’m sure that we’re going to see an increase in the natural hair gracing the pages of these mags and I’m always reading them, so you can be sure you’ll be seeing more here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. First thing I thought when I saw JayZ was he needs a haircut, lol. I love the shape on esperanza spaulding;s hair

  2. Solange is also in the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar. I know we all don’t read the same magazines, but several mainstream magazines, to include O-Magazine, have been featuring women au naturel for the past five years. It’s our own magazines and certain blogs who have been ignoring models and celebrities who are au naturel for the longest.

  3. I think Lorna Simpson is so beautiful! I am a fan of her work AND her hair! I have been following her career for years and she was one of my ‘hair icons’ in my thoughts about going natural.

  4. I would say that I’ve definitely seen more naturalistas in magazines (and commercials). A lot of times, the black magazines feature products for natural hair, but not necessarily advertisements with naturalistas. However, my blog explores this exact trend. There are a lot of ads in Essence and some in Cosmo, too. What I’ve come to find is that most of the naturalistas I’ve seen are rocking a particular hairstyle. For example, twist outs seem to be the favorite. Not afros, not locs, and definitely not twists. I’ve posed this question on my blog, and am still trying to figure out why twist outs are the most common hairstyle. Anyone have any ideas?

Leave a Reply