Vogue Magazine has found itself in deep waters after their controversial and inappropriate Japanese inspired photoshoot with white model Karlie Kloss that was shot by frequent Vogue-contributing photographer, Mikael Jansson. Backlash over their March issue, which is where the shoot is featured, began with the announcement of the issue itself. The cover itself received mixed reviews, most of them leaning towards negative. “This is why Vogue is cancelled. Their idea of “edgy” is hiring white people to imitate other races instead of just hiring diverse models,” wrote one Twitter user while fashionista.com considered the cover to be “thrilling” for everyone.
“These images appropriate a culture that is not my own,” Kloss posted on Twitter after the backlash. “I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive. My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission.”
Though Kloss did apologize for the shoot, saying that she is extremely sorry for participating in a shoot that was so culturally insensitive, it isn’t the first time that she’s done it – and apologized. Back in 2012, she was commissioned by Victoria’s Secret to walk – at the time – their 17th annual fashion show, where she walked in full Native American inspired lingerie. Due to that backlash, and because Victoria´s Secret shows are prerecorded, they edited the look out.
— Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) February 15, 2017
Despite everything, this sadly is not the first time that a situation within this context of cultural appreciation or even racism occurs within models that is so public. A couple of weeks ago, a video surfaced, that was posted on Bella Hadid´s snapchat, of Gigi Hadid mimicking Eastern Asian eyes. Unsurprisingly, she was on the cover of the March issue of American Vogue and to make it worse, covered the March issue of Vogue China as well.
Karlie and Gigi are, not very shockingly, part of the same white feminist “girl squad” (that the entire mainstream world seems to laud over, which I’ve yet to understand why) which, in a way, tells us the type of people they are. It was inevitable for this to happen, as pessimistic as that sounds. At the end of the day, they care about their next Vogue cover and Vogue shoot – not the feelings of other.