Gigi Hadid responds to blackface accusations

Gigi Hadid is speaking up about her controversial new Vogue Italia cover shoot. The images, shot by famed fashion photographer Steven Klein, feature the model looking heavily tanned and nearly unrecognizable, which quickly sparked accusations of blackface.

On Thursday afternoon, Hadid, 23, tweeted a paparazzi photograph taken on the same day as her cover shoot that shows her complexion looking much lighter, suggesting that the images that ran in the magazine had been digitally darkened.

“You can see the level I had been bronzed to on set that day,” she wrote. “Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non existent [sic] 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.”

Hadid went on to explain that although heavy bronzing and Photoshop are part of Klein’s “style,” the shoot’s creative direction “was not executed correctly” and that “the concerns that have been brought up are valid.”

Hadid also acknowledged the fashion industry’s problematic lack of diversity, adding that she hopes other publications and photographers will learn from the backlash Vogue Italia has rightfully received.

“Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different,” she wrote.

“Throughout its history, Vogue Italia has respected and encouraged the creative viewpoints of commissioned photographers,” the publication’s PR said in a statement to Page Six. “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.”

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