As we've repeatedly documented on this site, their is a clear lack of diversity in the fashion industry. All of the runways, editorials, advertisements, and fashion covers have been completely white-washed for the past eight years now.

It's gotten so bad that former model agency owner Bethann Hardison -- who use to rep supermodels Tyson Beckford and Naomi Campbell -- had to convene two summits to discuss the refusal of some of fashion's most powerful to embrace black beauty. CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg even sent out a letter prior to fashion week urging designers to incorporate models of all ethnicities onto their catwalks.

However, after the fall '08 fashion season concluded, the runways were as bland as ever.

But just when we thought all was lost, it seems as though somebody has finally gain some semblance of a conscience.

Last week, rumors began to fly on fashion sites alike that Italian Vogue was cooking up an epic issue that would feature only black models and that famed photographer Steven Meisel would be lensing all of its contents.

And yesterday, Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue confirmed the extraordinary news: "We are using a lot of black models, like Iman, not only the models of today – a lot of different girls." As for why she is doing this, Sozzani continues: "Because nobody is using black girls. I see so many beautiful girls and they were complaining that they are not used enough."

In addition, all of the other Vogues will be incorporating not only black models, but other under represented minority groups in their magazines much more than usual over the next few months. We'll reserve our applause until we start seeing some of this "diversity" in our favorite US publications, but it's nice to know people are finally starting to open their eyes.

[via The Independent]