The woman you’re looking at on the Vogue Italia cover above is Gigi Hadid and not an artist’s rendering of an overtanned Donatella Versace. The only indicator that it’s Gigi are those vacant eyes. Everything else looks like a whole other person of a totally different race, and the internet has something to say about it.
Yesterday, Gigi posted her Vogue Italia cover on Instagram and it looks like the time my ghostly ass got a $30 gift certificate for a spray tan in a Secret Santa back in 2007, and told the girl at the front desk I wanted to get my money’s worth. AKA not good. That post is no longer on Gigi’s Instagram page, because brewing in the comments was a shit storm of blackface accusations.
Page Six says that one person wrote: “Why hire a black model when we can paint Gigi’s complete body and face to look like one.” Teen Vogue notes that another wrote: “Completely different person; she looks like a completely different race.” Not for nothing, Gigi is mixed (white and middle eastern). But it’s clear either photographer Steven Klein or someone at Vogue Italia was going for something much different.
Page Six points out that this isn’t the first time Vogue Italia has tried to (ahem) darken up Gigi. In 2015 they shot her in a series of afro hairstyles that was very Foxy Beige.
— Derek Sherry (@RealDerekSherry) February 7, 2017
Several people did come to Gigi’s defense, saying she was “just doing her job,” and the always eyeroll-worthy, “haters gonna hate hate hate.” And I’m sure Gigi’s sister Bella Hadid thought it was great, and hopes she can borrow the look for her next sneaker video. Besides deleting the cover from Instagram, Gigi hasn’t said anything about this on Twitter. Neither has Vogue Italia. But someone better come forward and take the blame for this mess. And while they’re at it, they might want to also throw in an apology for giving Gigi the hands of a cartoon ghost.
UPDATE: We’ve got an apology, and it’s from Gigi herself. Gigi hopped on Twitter with a statement about this mess, and she’s sorry if anyone was offended. She also mentions that she was aware Steven Klein was going to bronze her up for the shoot, but that Vogue didn’t execute the end product correctly. There you have it, someone at Vogue Italia clearly didn’t follow their standard race-changing protocol.
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) May 3, 2018
Pic: Steven Klein/Vogue Italia