The March issue of Vogue came out earlier this month. The cover displays fashion’s favorite “It” girls: Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti. The issue is considered the “Diversity Issue,” but how diverse is it really?
There is a definite bias toward white models in fashion history resulting in white-washing. An example, W Magazine’s April 2016 cover featuring Zendaya, Willow Smith and Kiernan Shipka. Readers were furious when they received the cover as it appears that Zendaya and Willow had been photoshopped to appear lighter in skin tone.
As you can see, all three celebrities seem to have lightened skin.
As for the recent issue of American Vogue, readers have been upset posting their opinions on social media focusing on the cover, but also Karlie Kloss and her photoshoot as she portrays a geisha.
The issue talks about inclusivity, but is the cover truly displaying inclusiveness?
The cover showcases seven women, all beautiful, in black turtlenecks with printed shorts except size-16 model, Ashley Graham. Notice Graham is also the only model who is placing her arm down, covering her leg. Graham has recently been taking the fashion industry by storm, by appearing in her recent debut in New York Fashion Week. It makes you wonder what Vogue truly meant when they put on the cover, “NO NORM IS THE NEW NORM,” when clearly they are still bias toward thin, white models.
People on social media also noticed the issue of Hadid’s hand that is clearly photoshopped. Either Hadid is ElastiGirl, or the photoshop fail is to create the illusion that her hand can truly fit almost around Graham’s waist.
Now the issue on Karlie Kloss’s photoshoot.
It amazes me that an editor found this to be okay. While it is true that many designers are greatly influenced by asian culture, this is a step too far. The “Spirited Away” photoshoot took place in Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park. The magazine also does not credit any Japanese people in the creative process. The images portray extremely stereotypical props, not to mention the sumo wrestler.
Readers were not happy with the white supermodel portraying a Japanese woman. The good news? Karlie Kloss responded with a sincere apology. On February 15, Kloss announces her apology the only way anyone seems to receive their information these daysTwitter.
While there are steps being made to make the fashion industry more diverse, there is still a long journey ahead.