Gigi Hadid has received some backlash after she appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia’s May, 2018, issue looking a couple of shades darker than she regular does. Based on her latest tweet, the opposition to the cover was so intense that it caused Hadid to write an apology post to her fans for the photo shoot.
In the post, a long block of text written over a photo of her leaving the shoot, Gigi explains that she had no control over the creative direction of the photography or the photo editing that happened afterward.
“Please understand that my control of a shoot ends is 1) completely 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 added that the heavy bronzer used on her skin is a signature style of the cover’s photographer, Steven Klein, and that she believes the intention behind the photographs was to showcase that style. Hadid went on to acknowledge that she thought the concerns were valid, even though she didn’t think that Vogue Italia’s intentions were malicious. She also said that the creative direction would have been different if she had more control of the shoot and that she wasn’t trying to take away opportunities from anyone else. Presumably that “anyone else” is a reference to darker-skinned models.
In the cover photo, a very tan Hadid sits in the lap of male model, Justin Martin, Fashionista reports. Martin also looks very bronzed.
According to TMZ, Vogue Italia has released a statement in response to the backlash as well.
“In our latest cover shoot by Steven Klein, the vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylized bronzing effect,” the statement reads. “We understand that the result has caused some debate with our readers, and we sincerely apologize if we have caused any offense.”
As TMZ notes, this isn’t the first time that Gigi Hadid and Vogue Italia have been called out for allegedly using “blackface” in a photo shoot. The model and the magazine got a similar reaction in 2015 after Gigi was photographed sporting an afro and a significantly darker skin tone. Hadid posted this recent Vogue cover on her social media, but has since removed it from her page.