Litza Veloz Stars in 'Forbidden Love' by Fernando Gomez in Vogue Czech November 2019

Model Litza Veloz is styled by Daniel Gonzalez Elizondo in ‘Forbidden Love’, a provocative, elegant fashion editorial. Central to these images is the subliminal preoccupation of white men historically with black women — a reality that most often worked against the well-being and personal lives of women of color. Photographer Fernando Gomez captures Litza’s dazzling fashion attraction for Vogue Czechlosvakia’s November 2019 issue. / Makeup by Rosa Matilla

More specifically, the ‘Forbidden Love’ fashion editorial is probably referencing Pope Clement VII (aka Giuliano de'Medici) who as pope took a black slave girl as a mistress. Their child Alessandro became the first black head of state when he became Duke of Florence in 1530. Alas, Allessandro met a tragic end, stabbed to death by his own cousin after an argument over a woman.

Revisiting this story and the strong connection between imported slave women and the Italian aristocracy, is recharging my brain cells around current arguments between Italian luxury brands and charges of racism. Thinking . . thinking . . thinking. ~ Anne