Addressing the Vogue Italia cover controversy, supermodel Gigi Hadid has apologized for the magazine's use of her "black face" on the cover image.
A few days ago, the 23-year-old took to Instagram to share the image from the shoot featuring her and male model Justin Martin, captioning: "Excited, honored, and grateful to cover @VogueItalia's May Issue. Thank you so so much for an amazing shoot, I am forever inspired by you all !!! & can't wait to share the full story!!"
But the photo was removed from her account soon after it drew a severe backlash.
What is the Vogue Italia controversy all about?
Upon sharing the photo online Wednesday, Gigi's fans were quick to point out Hadid's styling, mainly her heavily bronzed skin. Some even did not bother to accuse her of heavily retouching the image using Photoshop.
Later, the catwalk queen took to Instagram to address the controversy sharing a long note. She wrote, "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 to on set that day. Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction. 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post if out of my control fully," she explained in defense of herself.
"The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S. Klein [Steven 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."
You can read it here.
Hadid concluded the note, saying, "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."
Vogue Italia magazine also issued a statement.
It reads: "Throughout its history, Vogue Italia has always respected and even encouraged the viewpoint of commissioned photographers. Needless to say, this is the case with the latest shoot by Steven Klein, a creative whose vision has had an impact in shaping the path of our publication. Fashion photography, and Vogue Italia's in particular, is an interpretation of reality, not a literal representation of it, and this creative approach applies to the cover of the May issue."