Gigi Hadid has officially responded to the controversy surrounding her appearance on the May issue of Vogue Italia, and she hopes the experience will serve as a cautionary tale to the fashion and magazine industry as a whole.
Sharing a photo of herself on Twitter from the day she shot the now infamous cover, the supermodel explained that while she was somewhat aware of the artistic direction of the shoot and wore a heavy dose of bronzer while on set in keeping with photographer Steven Klein’s iconic aesthetic, she is not okay with the level of doctoring the photos received in post-production.
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“This is a photo of me returning home from shooting my Italian Vogue cover on April 3rd… you can see the level I had been bronzed on set that day. Please understand that my control of the shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything else done to a photo in post is out of my control fully,” she wrote. “The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S.Klein has done for many years, and I believe was what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively), BUT, although I understand what Vogue Italia’s intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid.”
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Those concerns include an uproar over just how much Gigi’s skin tone appears to have been altered. The model initially posted a pic of the cover on her Instagram that has subsequently been taken down, but not before fans pointed out that the blonde beauty was barely recognizable. While some chalked it up to bad photoshop (which, in addition to seemingly elongating her face, also distorted her limbs) and too much bronzer, others likened it to blackface. She did not shy away from addressing those concerns in her social media response.
“I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouching/coloring of the cover,” she shared. “Please know that things would been different if my control of the situation was different.”
While this wasn’t the first time the model’s appearance in Vogue Italia stirred the pot (there were concerns over cultural misappropriation in a December 2015 edition of the mag), Gigi hopes this latest snafu will be a catalyst for change throughout the industry.
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“I want to apologize because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else, and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future,” she concluded. “There are real issues regarding representation in fashion — it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry.”
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