Lately, Vogue has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. In the March issue of the magazine — the same one that was said to be championing those who “democratize fashion” featuring models like Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah and Liu Wen — there is a multi-page spread of Karlie Kloss styled as a geisha in yellowface.
The leaked images surfaced on the web yesterday and, needless to say, netizens are pretty angry. Their choice to outfit Karlie in geisha attire, Shimada hair and white makeup as she poses in Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park in an editorial titled “Spirited Away” (a nod to Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 film of the same name), is problematic, to say the least.
The spread was photographed in Japan by Mikael Jansson, who shared the above photo, and was styled by Phyllis Posnick. It features Karlie posing by a sumo wrestler, walking down the stairs of a tea house and even soaking in a bath, and obviously, the internet is upset. How did this happen? People took to Twitter to sound off. Read some of the noteworthy reactions below.
Karlie has since apologized, saying that she’s “truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive” and that she will work to “ensure” her future projects “empower and inspire women.”
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(Featured photo via Ryan Pierse/Getty)