Gigi Hadid and Vogue Italia have both apologised for the cover shoot of the magazine’s May edition, after being accused of the act of ‘blackface’.
The Vogue Italia cover showing the usually blonde super model with a heavily bronzed skin tone and hair colour, wearing a tiara and a sequined jumpsuit.
The cover unleashed a social media storm and was interpreted by many as another example of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry.
Hadid said in an Instagram post that diversity needs to be addressed and she does not want “to take opportunities away from anyone else”.
She said the cover shoot, by photographer Steven Klein, which also featured digital editing of the photo, “was not executed correctly” and the concerns raised were valid.
“I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouch/colouring of the cover,” Hadid wrote.
“Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different,” the model said.
“Regardless, I want to apologise because I never want to diminish these concerns.”
Vogue Italia said Klein’s “vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylised bronzing effect”, adding that “we understand that the result has caused some debate with our readers, and we sincerely apologise if we have caused any offence”.
Many fans reacted with anger on social media, with one calling it the worst Vogue Italia “in years”.
“There are so many talented and beautiful models out there who could actually make a better cover.”
“Another blackface attempt failing miserably,” quipped another commenter.
“Is this supposed to be Gigi? Because you photoshopped her into an entire different girl,” added another.
But others felt the reaction was overblown and the shoot had been overinterpreted.
Ok, this is literally the work of fake tan and there’s nothing wrong with fake tan. We tan naturally in the sun so if you’re doing a shoot it’s all just beauty stuff. I agree with the stupidity of black face but this is a little much https://t.co/ychx0zAXqT
— Nathan (@stuckonfknyou) May 4, 2018
“Beauty beyond the face and a personification of strength. Love you so much Gi. And the cover is amazing,” wrote one fan.
The controversy marked the second time Hadid has been accused of cultural appropriation, with the model slammed for wearing a blue afro wig for a 2015 cover shoot.