Karlie Kloss Apologizes for Geisha Photo Shoot in Vogue's 'Diversity Issue'
Karlie Kloss is apologizing for her involvement in a controversial Vogue photoshoot, which was highly criticized for its whitewashing of the Asian culture
Karlie Kloss apologized for her involvement in a controversial Vogue photoshoot, which attracted criticism for casting a white woman in a Japanese-themed photoshoot.
The spread — which appeared in the fashion magazine’s “diversity themed” March issue — featured the 24-year-old model dressed in traditional geisha garb for a series of photos.
One had her posing alongside a sumo wrestler; another, walking down the stairs of a tea house in flowered kimono. In all, Kloss is wearing a Geisha’s Shimada-styled nihongami wig.
Photographer Mikael Jansson shot the editorial in Japan, reportedly as an homage to a 1966 Vogue shoot by Richard Avedon of German model Veruschka.
After the images circulated and criticism began of Vogue and Kloss for participating in “yellowface,” the magazine removed the photos from its website.
Kloss then apologized on Twitter, writing: “These images appropriate a culture that is not my own and I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive. My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission.”
She was previously involved in another cultural appropriation fashion controversy, when she walked the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show wearing a Native American-inspired headdress with high-heel moccasins and fringe leather bra and panties. (After the backlash, the look was removed from the CBS broadcast.)
Then, Kloss tweeted, “I am deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone. I support VS’s decision to remove the outfit from the broadcast.”
Vogue‘s “diversity issue” also received some criticism for its cover, which showed Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and a four other high-profile models posing together on the beach — all wearing black turtlenecks and colorful high-waisted shorts.
Readers denounced the fact that the “diverse” women seemed to look very much alike, and pointed out that of the seven women, Graham stands out from the rest — not only as the only curvy model but also as the only to have her arm extended and her hand covering her thigh. Graham’s fans wondered whether Hadid’s arm was photoshopped to extend over Graham’s stomach.
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As this isn’t Graham’s first time addressing accusations of photo manipulation, the body-confident model was quick to say there was no attempt to cover her up at the Vogue cover shoot.
“I chose to pose like that..no one told me to do anything,” Graham responded to a fan on Instagram, who questioned why Vogue made her cover her leg.
She also shared another photo from the shoot on Thursday, with her body in full display as she and the magazine’s other cover stars jumped around the beach.
What do you think of the recent controversy?