Model Karlie Kloss apologises for ‘culturally insensitive’ geisha photoshoot for Vogue diversity issue

Vogue under fire for racism for feature white model as a Japanese geisha / Vogue

Fashion magazine Vogue has come under fire for running a photoshoot in its diversity issue in which model Karlie Kloss appears as a Japanese geisha.

The Japanese-inspired spread forms part of the magazine’s March edition which celebrates the diversity of the “modern American woman”.

However, in what has been branded by critics as a racist move, the magazine opted to feature Kloss as a geisha instead of using an Asian model. This decision was made in spite of the magazine’s cover featuring Chinese model Liu Wen.

Kloss took to Twitter today (15 February) to apologise for participating in the shoot, which she admitted did "appropriate a culture that is not my own". "I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive. My goal is, and will always be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission," the post read.

It's not the first time Kloss has been accused of appropriating a culture. In 2012, the top model apologised for wearing an American Indian outfit for a Victoria's Secret catwalk show.

The criticism comes days after the fashion magazine was accused by social media users of manipulating the cover of its latest issue to make plus size model Ashley Graham look thinner.

The critics pointed out obscurities in the cover, which features seven top models dressedin black turtlenecks and colourful bikini bottoms, while Graham is wearing black bottoms. The critics also claim Gigi Hadid's arm has been photoshopped to lengthen it in order to make Graham look thinner.

Vogue did not respond to a comment request by time of publishing.

Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

All by Jessica