On May 2, Gigi Hadid posted her recent Vogue Italia cover to her Instagram account. While the post has since been deleted, according to Us Weekly, the super model captioned the image with thanks to the creative team for an "amazing" shoot and also explained that she was honored to be part of the cover. Now, though, that post is gone, and Hadid is apologizing for the photo.
In the image that graced the cover of the magazine, Hadid is posing on top of a male model in a sequin jumpsuit. It's not the fashion that people were upset about it, though. Hadid's skin tone is notably darker than her natural shade, and her face appears to have been altered as well. As Teen Vogue pointed out, is these alterations that have lead some to accuse Hadid and the magazine of black face.
Hadid has now apologized for the cover and given a personal explanation for how and why the images happened, specifically noting that she has no creative control over shoots or the editing that happens after the images have been taken.
Hadid also went on in the same Instagram story post to explain why she decided to apologize for the image:
The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S. 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 whyat Vogue Italia's intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid. I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouching/coloring of the cover. Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different. Regardless, I want to apologize because my intention o is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else, and I this can be an example to other magazine and teams in the future.
You can see Hadid's full apology on her Twitter.
Since apologizing, Hadid has not removed the black and white behind the scenes footage that she posted on Instagram on May 2. In the post, she has tagged photographer Steven Klein and thanks him and others on the team for the cover that she is "SO PROUD" of.
According to Teen Vogue, Conde Nast International issued a statement to Teen Vogue about the magazine cover which stated, "Throughout its history, Vogue Italia has respected and encouraged the creative viewpoints of commissioned photographers. In our latest cover shoot by Steven Klein, the vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylized bronzing effect. We understand that the result has caused some debate with our readers, and we sincerely apologize if we have caused any offense."
This isn't the first time that Hadid has issued an apology regarding insensitivity toward race. In February of 2017, Hadid was accused of racism when she held a cookie shaped like Buddha to her face while seeming to mimic its face. The video received quite a bit of backlash, and Hadid eventually apologized on Chinese social media website Weibo.
While the two incidents don't exist in the same realm of photoshoots, they are proof that nothing happens in a vacuum. Prior to the Vogue Italia shoot, Hadid appears to have been aware of how perceptions of race impersonation is offensive. While, according to her apology, she did not have anything to do with the post-photo shoot editing, Hadid's apology shows that many others in the fashion industry do have more learning to do.