Vogue Italia obviously likes stirring up controversy for the sake of being European and avant-garde, and their latest photo shoot which depicts white models in tribal-inspired blackface has no qualms in crossing the line.
The March 2014 issue features Dutch model Saskia de Brauw in a spread titled “Abracadabra” that blatantly mocks African culture by posing with blank stares, nestled up against taxideremed lions and goats and boars.
Back in January, the magazine stirred controversy for segregating its street style photos, and now Vogue Italia is getting major backlash for publishing a spread titled “Abracadabra” in its March 2014 issue. The photos feature Dutch model Saskia de Brauw in face paint to darken her skin posing next to taxidermied African animals.
Even if the magazine is clueless to the nuanced details of what makes this deeply offensive and wrong, clearly they can understand the basics of: white model + tribal face paint + taxidermied African animals = Not OK.
It’s the year 2014, and yet obviously the fashion industry still isn’t completely clear on the fact that blackface is never OK.
If you think this is the magazine’s first foray with racial struggle, think again. In 2011, the magazine was forced to apologize for calling earrings on their website “slave earrings” and most recently, their Netherlands hub featured another white model in blackface for their “Heritage History” in May of 2012.
This doesn’t even feel real–at all. Let us find out Chantress and Strangé are behind this. At this rate, this will be the last offensive spread until the next one. Check out the SMH-worthy pics in the gallery below.
Photo: Vogue Italia/Stephen Meisel