Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rachel Rutt scores her second international cover - so why can't she get a gig downunder?

dazed & confused japan via chic management

In the deluge of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week coverage, frockwriter somehow managed to miss this cover. So congrats are due to one of this blog's faves, Sydney model Rachel Rutt, who scored this month's cover of the Japanese edition of Dazed & Confused. And while sure, it's not as visible as the cover of the UK parent edition (which Rutt's better-established Chic stablemate Abbey Lee Kershaw has cracked twice), it is nevertheless a fantastic get. It represents, moreover, her second international cover - after scoring one of 12 multicovers of the autumn/winter 09/10 edition of French Revue de Modesmade the cover of Dazed & Confused Japan last October, alongside big names including Coco Rocha, Ali Stephens, Karmen Pedaru, Dree Hemingway, Constance Jablonski and Maryna Linchuk. Coincidentally, in February, another Chic-ette, Rutt's great mate Myf Shepherd, scored the cover of Dazed & Confused Japan. So you could say that "MUTT" has this mag covered. 

As reported by frockwriter Rutt and Shepherd have been blogging in tandem under the MUTT hybrid byline, both for their Heyweird blog and for Australian IN Front's RAFW coverage.

For the latter, the duo interviewed local creatives including Luke Sales, Ryan Lobo, Alan White and.... themselves. Although
Australian IN Front previously advertised that MUTT's RAFW interviews would be with anonymous fashion players, the only question mark hovering over MUTT's RAFW profiles concerns just which MUTT team member was being interviewed by who. has suggested that Rutt interviewed Shepherd. That seems unlikely however, given that Shepherd did not walk in any shows at the event (
frockwriter hears the girls swapped roles during the interview).

Rutt was one of the busiest models at RAFW - for the second year in a row - and had a great first New York season last September.

But although
Dazed + Confused Japan makes two international fashion magazine covers for Rutt, she has yet to be booked for the cover of a local fashion print title (although she did appear on the December/January 08/09 cover of Australian online mag Pages Online).

Back in 2008, Rutt, who is half Singaporean, told The Australian that she was looking forward to working overseas, particularly Europe. In the latter markets, she claimed, Eurasian faces were far more welcome. Rutt described Australia as being very "Caucasian-oriented".

Beyond the late South Korean model Daul Kim appearing on a recent cover of
RUSSH, several Australian modelling industry sources to whom frockwriter spoke this afternoon struggled to recall the last time an Asian model graced the cover of an Australian fashion magazine.

“For a very multicultural country, I'm surprised that it hasn’t happened” noted one observer who requested anonymity.

"People are reluctant to use girls who are not of northern European looks" noted another. "It's risky - because they're in a minority".

It's worth remembering, however, that another one of Rutt's high profile Chic Management stablemates, Catherine McNeil, was on the cover of high profile US fashion title
V and Paris Vogue, before any Australian magazines showed an iota of interest in putting her on page one. (Correction: McNeil made the cover of RUSSH in January 2007 - the same month that she headed off to New York for castings and her first international ready-to-wear runway season. And four years after she began modelling in Australia).


Anonymous said...

last issue of frankie had Mariana (eurasion - french/indonesian) on the cover

Anonymous said...

If i remember correctly Russh magazine had Catherine McNeil on the cover (issue 12), before she took off overseas.

Its only Vogue Australia, that is narrow minded enough to wait for a model to make it big overseas before they get to grace the pages of their half baked magazine.

Alyx said...

The cover of issue 84 of Oyster featured an Asian model. The cover spread is online here:

I'm pretty sure Frankie has had an Asian or Eurasian girl on the cover at some point too. The 'lack of diversity' finger can be pretty directly pointed at mainstream, rather than indie mags in this case.

Patty Huntington said...

thanks for the updates guys. i have updated the cat mcneil info. as i mentioned, the sources i spoke to could not recall any other asian models on australian covers (beyond daul kim). and nor could i to be honest. indie mags obviously take quite a few more risks than the mainstream contingent in many areas, so it's probably not surprising that the occasional asian model has popped up here and there. with asians representing 8.4percent of australia's population (2006 census) however, and given how many australian magazine covers make the newsstands each year, one might well ask why they they are not a little more visible.

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for a Vogue/Russh cover for Rachel. She is so beautiful and probably one of my favourite models...
Hopefully soon!

Anonymous said...

She is versatile and yes, time for another Asian face on one of Australian magazines.

Anonymous said...

Just on Vogue, did they digitally alter the photos of Rose Byrne in the latest issue to make her look like a freak, or has she become a $1000/day botox junky?

I hope it's the former, because it would be pretty sad if such a beautiful girl now looks like that.

Thanks Patty,

A Colourful Guy Drowning said...

When I hear all this talk of 'risk' when it comes to using minorities on the cover of fashion magazines (once again, as the debate been ongoing for decades now) I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry because I find it all so absolutely ridiculous.

One will hear fashion editors/publishers spout all sorts of nonsense for not doing so - "it hurts sales" being the most prevalent one. By the way, if one looks at the sales figures from several prominent US fashion mags when they've featured an 'ethnic' model on the cover one will see this is not true. (I'll dig up the figures if anyone wants proof.)

The reason we don't see more ethnic models is obvious to anyone that's a minority: Racism.

Anonymous said...

A Colourful Guy Drowning, I think that racism is a big call to make, since it connotes some sort of discrimination. Rather, I believe it to be a result of a number of factors such as lack of participants (possibly arising from cultural differences), genetics (asian girls are shorter than caucasian girls on average), the risk of change/'newness', etc.

Moreover, from a marketing perspective, though sales may not be affected to a large degree (and in some cases increase) with an asian face on the cover of a fashion magazine, the make-up of consumers who purchase the magazine likely to be different. By hurting sales, magazines tend to refer to the amount of advertising revenue it can garner for an issue rather than how many copies it sells.

Furthermore, racial demographic profiling suggests that a young caucasian female is more likely to go out and purchase something after having seen it in an advertisement than a non-caucasian, so editors try and skew towards a highly loyal and liquid target market that is consistent overtime.

Thus risks are a very important factor.

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