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Gigi Hadid apologises for her Vogue Italia cover

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If you’re at all interested in fashion, the chances are by now you’ve seen Gigi Hadid on the cover of the June 2018 issue of Vogue Italia

That said, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t quite realise it was Gigi Hadid on said cover; her normally blonde hair is black, her normally black pupils are red, and her normally white skin is brown. 

The issue went on sale on Friday but the sneak peak uploaded onto Vogue Italia's Instagram on Thursday, understandably sneak peak received enormous backlash. 

A post shared by Vogue Italia (@vogueitalia) on

This isn’t the first time the Vogue umbrella has come under fire for its lack of diversity (remember the team photo published by former Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman when she stepped down last year?) but Hadid at least appears to be attempting to minimise the offence and damage caused by the racial insensitivity of her cover. 

The model swiftly removed the picture from her own Instagram profile (though it remains on Vogue Italia’s) and this removal was followed quickly by a public apology uploaded to her social media platforms, in which she admits she was bronzed for the shoot but blames the considerably darker skin tone on post-production editing:

 

 

The statement addresses the cover’s main criticisms- the extreme lack of diversity in the fashion industry and the unacceptability of a Caucasian female’s skin being darkened so considerably when there are innumerable women of colour who could have been featured on the same cover- and Hadid does appear to be genuinely sorry, a sentiment which has since been echoes, if somewhat less emphaticaly by the magazine, despite their refusal to remove the picture from their Instagram profile:

"Throughout its history, Vogue Italia has respected and encouraged the creative viewpoints of commissioned photographers. In our latest cover shoot by Steven Klein, the vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylized bronzing effect. We understand that the result has caused some debate with our readers, and we sincerely apologize if we have caused any offence."  

A post shared by Vogue Italia (@vogueitalia) on

In an email to Teen Vogue, Condé Nast International responded that ‘the vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylized bronzing effect’ and Editor-at-Large Patti Wilson has stated that ‘it’s a summer issue. It’s a swimwear story. Gigi was meant to look bronze, tan, and gorgeous. Nothing more than that’.

But, given the comments about the cover on social media, for many that hardly justifies altering Hadid’s appearance to such an extent it no longer looks like her.  At the very least Hadid has confronted her problematic cover; whether it will provide the ‘example to other magazines and teams in the future’ that she hopes it will, remains to be seen.

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