Gigi Hadid Apologizes After Being Accused of 'Blackface' on Vogue Italia Cover

After receiving considerable backlash for having noticeably darker skin on her new Vogue Italia cover, Gigi Hadid is speaking out.

In an Instagram story she shared a photo of herself walking home from the photoshoot (below), covering her face from the paparazzi. In her caption she pointed out how much she had been bronzed and explained how her involvement works on set. “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 went on to explain that a shadowed look is often the style that photographer Steven Klein uses in his editorials. “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 what Vogue Italia‘s intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid.”

She continued her heartfelt message speaking directly to those offended and apologized for any misunderstandings: “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 is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else, and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future. There are real issues regarding representation in fashion — it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry.”

People responded with backlash on social media and commented on Vogue Italia‘s Instagram photo of the cover writing, “Her nose, jaw, facial structure are so edited I couldn’t even tell this was Gigi. Don’t book a model just to completely change the way they look. Disgusting.”

Other users wrote, “that doesn’t even look like her,” and that the photo was “appalling and simply disgusting.”

And some went as far as calling out the star for blatant “blackface.”

“here we go with white model’s trying to be black,” one Twitter user wrote, with another responding, “Do you even know what blackface is?”

But there was some that were less offended. “People need to chill out. My god can we stop complaining about everything.”

This isn’t the first time Hadid — or her work with Vogue Italia – has come under fire. Back in 2015 the magazine featured Hadid on the cover with considerably darker skin as she posed wearing different colorful afros. And, just like this currently situation, their was also considerable backlash.

She also faced criticism after she landed the cover of the very first issue of Vogue Arabia. Hadid is part Palestinian, however, people were unhappy with the shoot and called her out for appropriation.

And when she posed on the cover of American Vogue alongside then-boyfriend Zayn Malik in “gender-fluid” fashion editorial,  Hadid, Malik and the magazine faced backlash for using a heterosexual cisgender celebrity couple to represent the topic gender fluidity, prompting a Vogue rep to respond and apologize for the controversy.

“The story was intended to highlight the impact the gender-fluid, non-binary communities have had on fashion and culture. We are very sorry the story did not correctly reflect that spirit – we missed the mark. We do look forward to continuing the conversation with greater sensitivity,” a Vogue representative said.

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