After bragging and talking up their latest diversity issue, Vogue has once again proved they have no idea what diversity really is. In a spread titled “Spirited Away” (RED FLAG) supermodel Karlie Kloss was made up in yellowface, draped in stereotypical geisha garb, and photographed prancing alongside a sumo wrestler amidst scenery that is so stereotypically Japanese it hurts.
The piece, shot by Mikael Jansson, was reportedly supposed to be “an homage to a 1966 Vogue shoot by Richard Avedon of German model Veruschka,” according to People magazine. Kloss apologized on Twitter today, saying she would ensure her future photo shoots were more culturally sensitive.
This is not the first time that Vogue has leaped over the line of cultural appropriation. Vogue Paris featured a spread in 2009 of white models in black face. In 2013, Vogue Netherlands also featured a white model in blackface and textured wigs, supposedly as a tribute to Josephine Baker. In 2014, Vogue Italia featured white models wearing red and “tribal” makeup posing next to various African animals. You’d think they learned their lesson but alas, the fashion world seems to be even less progressive than we all thought.
Reflecting on the nonsense that was Vogue’s Japanese spread in their supposed “diversity” issue, popular blogger Angry Asian Man wrote: “Kind of a silly, pointless celebration if you're going to turn the page and find this yellowface geishapalooza inside. And did nobody even consider hiring an actual Asian model? So much for that 'diversity' nonsense.”
And we couldn’t agree more.
All photos via Vogue.
More from BUST