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Gigi Hadid apologises after Vogue Italia ‘blackface’ backlash

The supermodel looked markedly different on the Italian fashion bible’s latest issue.

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid has apologised for the controversy prompted by her heavily bronzed appearance on the cover of Vogue Italia magazine.

A picture of the US model with substantially darkened skin on the Italian fashion publication sparked criticism, with many fans claiming she was unrecognisable, and others suggesting it was an example of “blackface”.

Hadid, who was shot by photographer Steven Klein for the magazine alongside model Justin Martin, said that the concerns raised are “valid”.

In a post on Twitter, the 23-year-old said she had been bronzed to a high level on the day of the photoshoot, but that her control is “non-existent in terms of creative direction”.

She said that the “bronzing and Photoshop” is a style often adopted by Klein, and that it was expected from the shoot to alter her appearance.

However, she added that while she understands the intentions of Vogue Italia, “it was not executed correctly”.

The catwalk star said: “I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouching/colouring of the cover. Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different.”

Hadid said she wanted to apologise “regardless” of that, “because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else, and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future.”

She added: “There are real issues regarding representation in fashion – it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry.”

A statement on from Vogue Italia on Instagram read: “Throughout its history, Vogue Italia has respected and encouraged the creative viewpoints of commissioned photographers.

“In our latest cover shoot by Steven Klein, the vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylised bronzing effect.

“We understand that the result has caused some debate with our readers, and we sincerely apologise if we have caused any offence.”