What happens when four gorgeous South Sudanese women gather to eat breakfast dressed monochromatically in white and are photographed? It creates a stir on social media.
“I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society, and how they may view that.” ― @lupitanyongo #southsudanesegirls #myblackstillshineseveninthemidnight………… ||.BreakFast.|| : : ||.Creative Director & Photographed By.|| Fashion Designer || @isaacwest || Models || @nyajj_21 @odur @chudes0212 ♠️
A post shared by F R I D A Y C H U O L ✨ (@balangnyal) on Sep 3, 2017 at 2:16pm PDT
The creative director and photographer behind this artistic shoot is Isaac West. He tells Yahoo Style that “as a conceptual photographer I am more into uplifting women of color, to show the different beauty and different shades of color of women, especially black women,” he says. “For this project I wanted to just do dark-skinned women, that was my main focus.”
West shot the photographs in Minneapolis, where he lives now, and recruited South Sudanese women who live in the area to sit for the shoot. He chose to dress them in all-white outfits to provide the most contrast against the models’ gorgeous skin.
West and the models got together at 11 in the morning to take the pictures and didn’t pretend to have breakfast — they actually had breakfast. “I wanted them eating together, to show their oneness and their sisterhood and that there’s no division, only friendship and love.” He calls it the “simple love of togetherness.”
Black, no sugar and no cream ❤ ||. Breakfast. || : ||. Creative Director &photographed By.|| Fashion Designer ||. @Isaacwest.|| : ||. Models.|| @chuddes0212 @balangnyal @odur @nyajj_21 @nyajj_21 was telling us a story at this moment. #Sudanese #eastafricans #blackmodels #blackgirlmagic #blackisbeautiful #modelstatus #photography
A post shared by OCHUDO CHAM (@chudes0212) on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:20pm PDT
West now lives in Minnesota, but he is originally from Liberia. He left Liberia for Ghana because of the country’s civil war, and then in the mid 2000s, he and his family went to the U.S.
West says he draws his creativity from his heritage and his purpose is to highlight and bring more representation of women of color to the media, especially in art and fashion. West is also a fashion designer and is currently enrolled in college, where he is studying TV production and art.
A post shared by 艾薩克·韋斯特.Isaac West (@isaacwest) on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:17am PDT
The photo shoot has been online for only a few days but has already received thousands of likes and comments, almost all of them offering praise.
“Look at all this beauty. Thanks sisters for staying true to your color. I always see it shining through,” one commenter wrote. Another commenter added, “Everything about this picture is gold.”
How are people this beautifully pigmented though.
— Nkagisang Sebogodi (@Nkagisang_S) September 6, 2017
Friday Chuol, 24, one of the models in photo shoot, yells Yahoo Style of her decision to participate: “I decided to be a part of it because if I can show that I am dark-skinned without apology, this may impact a little girl who’s struggling to find beauty in herself. I want to show the girls that look like myself to embrace their inner and outer beauty.
“I still can’t believe the attention it’s gotten, but you can’t deny that the photos send an incredible message to dark-skinned girls worldwide,” Chuol says. “I love it.”
As for what the future holds for West, “I have my sights on big names I want to collaborate with,” he says. Which artists might those be? “Rihanna, Solange, and Yeezy.” All eyes on you, Mr. West.
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