Karlie Kloss Racist Photoshoot Draws Twitter Outrage — And An Apology [Photos]

Shaunee Flowers

Supermodel Karlie Kloss is apologizing for a recent photo shoot that she did for Vogue magazine. Karlie was depicted in the March issue, which the magazine called its “diversity” issue, in several photos that caused an uproar over the cultural appropriation of Japanese imagery. Now Karlie is apologizing for taking part and says she will do better when picking projects in this Twitter apology:

The “diversity” pictorial featuring Karlie Kloss in the March issue of Vogue was shot by photographer Mikael Jansson. In the photos, Kloss is shown sporting a black wig, and traditional geisha makeup. In one photo, Karlie is posing with a Sumo wrestler. In another, she is wearing a kimono while standing in front of a Japanese tea house.

The controversial photos were shot in Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park and have drawn quite a bit of criticism for Karlie Kloss’ “yellowface.” Certainly, if Vogue really wanted to celebrate diversity, they could have found an actual Japanese model to pose in such a traditional way rather than featuring a Caucasian model to fill the role.

The pictures of Karlie Kloss modeling Japanese garb have been removed by Vogue. It seems even they saw the error in their ways or just maybe didn’t want all the negative press from the shocking pictorial. However, all of the photos can be viewed here, on the Angry Asian Man blog, who called the magazine and the model out for culturally appropriating the Japanese style for a photo shoot with their headline “Yellowface is a really awful way to celebrate ‘diversity.’ ”

Despite Karlie Kloss’ apology, this isn’t the first time she has been controversial in her modeling career. Variety pointed out that Karlie came under fire back in November 2012 during a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It was Karlie who strutted down the runway donning a Native American-inspired headdress. Kloss was later edited out of the runway show when it was aired on television because of the outrage among many who watched.

Naturally, Karlie tweeted out an apology for the Native American cultural appropriation criticism. She wrote, “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.”

Check out both apologies here:

Karlie also found herself in the cultural appropriation crosshairs again last year while walking the runway for Marc Jacobs, Us Magazine reported. It was back in September 2016 that Kloss and a few other models strutted their stuff donning dreadlock wigs. While Jacobs did issue an official apology for dressing Kloss and her supermodel counterpart Gigi Hadid in the controversial dreadlock wigs, an apology from Kloss can’t be found for that particular incident.

Based on Karlie Kloss’ history of cultural appropriation and then apologizing later, it seems safe to say that the supermodel is worried about working the runway first and then apologizing for all the people she offends later. It seems like a handful of Karlie’s controversial looks over the past few years are moments when she should have known better. If Kloss didn’t know then certainly the photographers, stylists and even the major magazines and brands who are sponsoring her work would know better and try not to offend. Here’s what Twitter had to say about it:

Considering that this isn’t the first or even the second time that Karlie Kloss has been accused of cultural appropriation during her modeling career, should the supermodel do more than just issue another social media apology? Sound off on the Vogue diversity issue controversy in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images]