Karlie Kloss apologized Wednesday after her appearance in a Vogue photoshoot was condemned on social media as critics called the fashion model’s spread an example of “yellowface” and cultural appropriation.
“These images appropriate a culture that is not my own and I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive,” Kloss said in a statement she posted to social media. “My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission.”
— Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) February 15, 2017
Floss was featured in the magazine’s March “diversity” issue. She was dressed as a Japanese geisha, wearing black wig posed with Asian artwork in the backdrop. Kloss also posed alongside a sumo wrestler.
Some social media users ripped Vogue for casting a white model for a Japanese photoshoot, while others said they didn’t find it offensive.
Karlie Kloss is under fire for culture appropriation after the release of her March 2017 Vogue US photoshoot. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/Nm9N523Y2G
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 15, 2017
There is a whole country called Japan with Japanese women and they picked a white girl. Wow. https://t.co/9xedXXLQBJ
— ' (@melaninbarbie) February 14, 2017
Looks like that Condé Nast diversity panel really did some good 🙃 (ed note: karlie kloss as a geisha in vogue diversity issue) pic.twitter.com/aH8KGrlEH7
— lindsay peoples wagner (@lpeopleswagner) February 14, 2017
In 2017, Karlie Kloss is featured in US Vogue in yellow face. Absolute madness but I can't say I'm shocked.
— Christiana Mbakwe-Medina (@Christiana1987) February 14, 2017
I am Japanese and actually love these images. I didn't feel any uncomfortableness with them. Please don't be sorry.
— めで鯛 (@skrokr) February 15, 2017
I guarantee you 99.99% of the people pretending to be offended here are American.
— Andri 😍 (@iSnakeItOff) February 15, 2017
The Vogue drama is just the latest cultural appropriation offense for Kloss.
The 24-year-old apologized after she wore Native American-inspired headdress at the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
I am deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone. I support VS's decision to remove the outfit from the broadcast.
— Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) November 11, 2012