Vogue’s Diversity Issue Strikes Out Again: Karlie Kloss Apologizes for Offensive Geisha Photo Shoot

Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss is seen in the West Village on December 16, 2016 in New York City. Alo Ceballos/GC Images

Another miss. Vogue‘s March 2017 “Modern American Woman” issue is facing even more backlash for a Geisha-themed photo shoot starring Karlie Kloss

After fans on Twitter pointed out that the spread — which features the model, 24, dressed in traditional Japanese Geisha garb and posing with a sumo wrestler — could be cultural appropriation, Kloss apologized for her involvement. 

“These images appropriate a culture that is not my own,” Kloss posted in a Tweet on Wednesday, February 15. “I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive. My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission.”

When Vogue‘s diversity-themed cover launched on Wednesday, February 8, the Twitterverse was quick to point out that the seven cover girls — Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Liu Wen — might not be as inclusive as the magazine intended. Aside from plus-sized beauty Graham, the other six models are all tall and thin. Social media users pointed out that Graham’s hand was covering part of her thigh, and it looked as though Hadid’s arm was photoshopped to cover part of her torso. And all seven stunners have light to medium skin tones, which had some readers wondering why models with darker skin tones were excluded.

Still, Graham, 28, defended the glossy from its critics. “I chose to pose like that,” she wrote in an Instagram comment, after some users speculated that she was directed to put her hand on her thigh to make herself appear smaller next to her fellow models, on Wednesday, February 8. “No one told me to do anything.”

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