From Music to fashion to photography the new Gossip Girl reboot series has not missed the mark on highlighting Black creatives.
The highly anticipated reboot following the high-profile lives of New York’s young elite premiered on HBO Max on July 8. With a diverse cast and enticing plot, this show brings viewers all of the glitz and glamour and drama of the upper east side world that took the world by storm in the 2010s when the original series premiered. If you were a viewer during the original premiere or have recently binge-watched the original series…or both, then you know that this series is no stranger to the name drop. Designers, celebrities, artists, and more, the Gossip Girl cast won’t hesitate to let you know that they have access to them and the reboot is no different in that department. But, having seen all 4 episodes that have aired so far I have been pleasantly surprised to see how many Black creatives they have credited and praised.
The highlight of the premiere was the heated (literally and figuratively) Christopher John Rogers Fashion show with an appearance from the famed designer themself. The series star, queen bee Julien Calloway played by Jordan Alexander, describes this moment as being a big step for her “brand identity”. And of course, it was, this is Christopher John Rogers we’re talking about. This is not the last time we CJR grace our screens. Julien went on to wear a Christopher John Rogers ss21 look in episode 2 and a Laquan Smith catsuit in episode 3.
Among other iconic sightings in the opening episode, just before the fashion show began as Julien’s two friends and PR team Luna La (Zion Moreno) and Monet De Haan (Savannah Smith), who were also in CJR, were plotting their scheme against her younger half-sister and frenemy Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak) there was another celebrity sighting. Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Editor in Chief of The Cut, was also on the scene of the fire hot premier. Lindsay Peoples Wagner was formerly the Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue before making the switch to The Cut in January 2021. Having Wagner make an appearance in the show not only solidified Julien as a high-profile influencer in the show but also shed light on important figures in editorial that are changing the landscape of the industry.
On the most recent episode of the series, we get another major name drop. After Julien proposed to her thousands of followers that she would be more vulnerable in the future removing the facade to show who she naturally is, Monet and Luna tried to persuade her otherwise with a proposed Vogue fashion spread shot by Tyler Mitchell. Mitchell rose to prominence after shooting Beyonce for Vogue’s September 2018 covers at only 23 years old. This cover made him the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year reign. Though Julien declined the offer that ultimately turned out to be fake, a Vogue fashion feature with Tyler Mitchell isn’t an opportunity that anyone else would’ve taken lightly. The episode then ended with a guest appearance from music artist Princess Nokia who performed at Julien and Zoya’s redemption party. Though things went awry prior to the performance Nokia turned the party around with her song “It’s Not My Fault”, an ironic song choice given the events in the episode.
The Gossip girl reboot has exceeded expectations thus far when it comes to entertainment and drama but when it comes to highlighting Black creatives they are truly understanding the assignment.