Along with Andrej Pejic, Irina Shayk and Kate Upton, new face of Cover Girl Jessica Stam walked the red carpet at the Jeffrey Fashion Cares event last night. We knew she dyed her hair brown, but it really is such a striking difference that we almost didn’t recognize her. “Katie Grand wanted me to do it for a project that hasn’t come out yet,” Stam explained. “I don’t know if I can talk about it yet. [It’s a] modeling art project.”
Interesting, but what we really want to talk about is the recent controversial Vogue Italia (oh, Vogue Italia) spread, presciently titled “Haute Mess”. Along with Stam, Karen Elson, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Lindsey Wixson, Daphne Groeneveld, Guinevere van Seenus and Coco Rocha all appear in, uh, over-the-top get-ups and statement makeup that some critics have deemed an uncomfortable generalization or racially offensive. So obviously we had to ask Stam for her first hand opinion on the matter. And then it got kind of awkward.
Fashionista: So, the Vogue Italia spread, what do you think of the whole fall out of the “Haute Mess”?
Jessica Stam: Of the what?
Fashionista: Of the “Haute Mess” —
Stam: Yeah, what do I think about the reaction to it?
Fashionista: People’s reactions to it.
Stam: What’s my reaction to it? It was a fun story. It was fun to shoot, I mean… (nervous laugh).
Fashionista: How do you feel about other people’s reaction to it, like the controversy…?
Stam: I don’t know — I don’t know what people’s reactions have been to it.
Fashionista: Um, some people said it was racially offensive (Stam: “Oh really?”) or stereotyping, negative generalizations…
Stam: I don’t know, the pictures, like the references were pulled off of websites and pretty exact to these…references, so I don’t know. I mean, it’s all in fun and people get…(mumble, mumble) I don’t know …whatever.