Gigi Hadid is Vogue Italia’s cover star for its May issue. But to many fans, the woman on the cover looks more like a woman who sort of looks like Hadid, but with a slightly different face and much darker skin.


To many people on the internet, it appears as if Hadid is doing blackface, and is nearly unrecognizable as a result.

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The Valley Beyond

@yosoymichael
 I know that’s not Gigi’s natural skin tone...
3:09 AM - May 3, 2018 · Brooklyn, NY
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Kaila Karns
@Kaila_Karns
 Not sure what @voguemagazine was thinking? Photoshopped @GiGiHadid to the point where she no longer looks like herself and can totally see why people are calling it blackface. What are ya'll doing??
7:30 AM - May 3, 2018
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A.🕯
@septemburissue
 Sozzani's Vogue Italia made history with The All Black Issue, calling out the lack of diversity in the industry. Farneti's Vogue Italia gave us black face GiGi Hadid. Shame.
4:22 AM - May 3, 2018
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Christy Somos
@C_Somos
11h
So Vogue Italia just put a “sneak peek” of their May cover out on Instagram - I am so sick of the fashion world. It’s 2018. Stop the blackface, stop the photoshopping to make a model look more “ethnic” HIRE MORE DIVERSE MODELS if that’s the look you need for your cover. pic.twitter.com/SBTKoxKRCk

Christy Somos
@C_Somos
 In case you can’t tell who that is, it’s Gigi Hadid, who has been edited into another person and given such a deep “””tan””” that it’s insulting to even try to pretend that it’s not blackface.
12:56 PM - May 3, 2018
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When Hadid posted the cover image on her Instagram, which has since been deleted, fans flooded the comment section with comments like “Is this even you?” and “This is borderline blackface.”

In the past, Hadid has been accused of appearing in shoots that are racially insensitive, including one in 2015 that appeared in Vogue Italia that had her posing in an afro wig.

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🥂
@blancapadillla
 gigi hadid doing blackface for Vogue Italia 2015/2018
3:23 AM - May 3, 2018
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But while some are blaming Hadid, plenty others are blaming the photographer: Steven Klein. In the past, the photographer shot white models in literal blackface, including model Lara Stone in 2009, whose skin was painted a dark brown for Vogue France.

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Claire Woods
@ClaireWoods22
 @GiGiHadid You need to help #CancelStevenKlein after his shoot with you in Vogue and his racist shoot with Lara Stone in Vogue France. Blackface is wrong!
4:22 PM - May 3, 2018 · Galway, Ireland
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Claire Woods
@ClaireWoods22
 The same photographer doing blackface with Gigi Hadid for @VogueIta and blackface with Lara Stone for @VogueFrance. Also did the ableist shoot with Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair. Can nothing stop racist baby boomer men from being cancelled? Srsly the worst generation #GigiHadid
4:11 PM - May 3, 2018 · Galway, Ireland
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And in this case, it’s hard to tell if that’s makeup on Hadid, or if it’s the lighting that’s making her skin so much darker than it appears naturally.

Either way, this cover has spawned an outcry for more diverse models, as opposed to having white models edited to look darker than they are.

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Christy Somos
@C_Somos
 So Vogue Italia just put a “sneak peek” of their May cover out on Instagram - I am so sick of the fashion world. It’s 2018. Stop the blackface, stop the photoshopping to make a model look more “ethnic” HIRE MORE DIVERSE MODELS if that’s the look you need for your cover.
12:55 PM - May 3, 2018
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“Tan is fine,” one commenter wrote on Hadid’s Instagram. “But when you’re covering one of the biggest fashion issues, use a model that looks that color because we NEED diversity. We need to DIVERSIFY. Give other races a chance too. Wasn’t this a perfect opportunity for that?”

“You literally photoshopped her into a different race,” another commenter wrote on Vogue Italia’s post. “If you’re trying to achieve a certain ‘look’ hire a dark-skinned model.”

On Thursday afternoon, Hadid responded to this controversy via her Instagram story, posting a picture of herself leaving the Vogue Italia shoot and writing: “Please understand that my control of a shoot... is nonexistent in terms of creative direction... ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post is out of my control fully.”

Gigi Hadid’s Instagram Story
Gigi Hadid’s Instagram Story Instagram
She then went on to state that the bronzing featured in the photo is part of Klein’s “style,” however she believes it wasn’t executed correctly.

“The concerns that have been brought up are valid,” she wrote. “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.”

Thus far, neither Klein nor Vogue Italia has made any comment on the cover. Mic has reached out to Vogue Italia for comment.

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