Why Balmain Dressed 16 Black Actresses At Cannes

Marina Liao
Photo credit: Getty Images

From ELLE

Photo credit: Getty Images

This year, the steps at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival has served as a place for protests and dissent. Over the weekend, Cate Blanchett led an 82-women #MeToo protest on the red carpet and just yesterday, 16 black actresses gathered around French actress Aïssa Maïga to make a statement of their own.

The women-including Nadège Beausson-Diagne, Mata Gabin, Maïmouna Gueye, Eye Haidara, Rachel Khan, Sara Martins, Marie-Philomène Nga, Sabine Pakora, Firmine Richard, Sonia Rolland, Magaajyia Silberfeld, Shirley Souagnon, Assa Sylla, Karidja Touré, and France Zobda, and Aïssa Maïga-all dressed in Balmain, wanted to call attention to their multimedia project 'Noire N’est Pas Mon Metier,' which translated means, 'Black Is Not My Profession.' The work aims to expose and denounce the discrimination black women face in the French and American entertainment industries.

Maïga had approached Olivier Rousteing of Balmain to create all their outfits, which he was on board with. Rousteing said he recognized the discrimination the women have faced and wanted to express his support for their project.

I loved getting to know a little bit about these women through the compelling stories that they have shared. It was their honesty and humor-as well as their strength and resilience-that struck me as I quickly turned each page. Sadly, though, it was all too easy for me to recognize the inappropriate comments, ignorance and discrimination that they have faced during their careers.

See all the powerful imagery below.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

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