Gigi Hadid Apologizes Amidst Blackface Magazine Cover Accusations

The model's 'Vogue' Italia shoot didn't go over so well with fans.
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Photo: @vogueitalia/Instagram

Photo: @vogueitalia/Instagram

Gigi Hadid's latest cover for Vogue Italia, shot by Steven Klein for the publication's May issue, has been a source of controversy. The shoot features Hadid in Dolce & Gabbana, perched on the lap of male model Justin Martin — with both she and Martin so heavily bronzed that some fans are calling it blackface.

"Their natural skin tone is whiter than white so tell me why they appear so dark on the cover?" asked one Twitter user. 

After a host of fans called out the shoot on social media, Hadid took to her own Twitter to post an apology on Thursday.

"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 is out of my control fully," she wrote in a caption superimposed over an image of herself. The photo, she said, was taken the day the Vogue shoot happened and shows the degree to which she was bronzed for the shoot — the implication being that the skin darkening happened in post-production, where her input was not taken into account.

"Although I understand what Vogue Italia's intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid," she continued. "Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different. Regardless, I want to apologize because my intention is never to diminish these concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else."

It's not the first time that a model has been accused of participating in appropriative fashion shoots or runway shows. Karlie Kloss faced backlash for a Vogue shoot that featured her dressed as a geisha just last year, and a host of white models including Hadid and Kendall Jenner received the same response for wearing dreadlocks on the runway at a Marc Jacobs show in 2016.

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