American Vogue is responding to the backlash it received over a recent photoshoot with Kendall Jenner; issuing a statement saying it “certainly did not mean to offend anyone.”
The magazine has been accused of cultural appropriation after Jenner was styled with an afro for the photoshoot. The 22-year-old model posed alongside Imaan Hamman (who wore her hair straight) in the shoot which honoured the 15th anniversary of the CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund. After the picture of the shoot was posted on Instagram, many people suggested that a white model should not be modelling a traditionally black person’s hairstyle.
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Fifteen years and 150 finalists later, the @CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize has created global stars, local heroes, a must-watch New York Fashion Week, and, most important, a true sense of community among designers of all ages and backgrounds—all with differing aesthetic and commercial aspirations—who communicate, collaborate, and essentially care for one another through the fun and not-so-fun times. Laura Vassar Brock—one of the founders of 2016 #CVFF winner Brock Collection—says, “We spoke to a few friends who had gone through it, and they all said the same thing: that the Fashion Fund is a life-changing experience. And indeed it was!” Tap the link in our bio to learn more. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, November 2018
One user wrote, “Why couldn’t you just get a model who already has an Afro hair type or something?” While another explained, “We used to have our hair burned and chemicals because society taught us that we were not beautiful with our afros – now they copy our afros but can’t use actual BLACK models with afros!”
In a statement, Vogue explained their inspiration for the shoot, “The image is meant to be an update of the romantic Edwardian/Gibson Girl hair which suits the period feel of the Brock Collection, and also the big hair of the ’60s and the early ’70s, that puffed-out, teased-out look of those eras. We apologize if it came across differently than intended, and we certainly did not mean to offend anyone by it.”
This isn’t the first time Jenner has been embroiled in controversy. In 2017, she appeared in a Pepsi commercial in which she joined a Black Lives Matter march and handed a Pepsi to a policeman who was clad in riot gear. The commercial was slammed by critics who called it “tone-deaf”, and it was subsequently pulled.
Photo: Vogue UK