Vogue is apologizing for a photo of Kendall Jenner the fashion magazine shared on Instagram, in which the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star is wearing her hair in what appears to be an afro.
In the photo — meant to promote the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to help emerging American designers — the 22-year-old model’s long locks have been teased to be wild and curly, looking not unlike a 1970s-era afro. It didn’t take long before the Instagram pic was met with comments using such terms as “cultural appropriation” and “racist.”
One commenter wrote, “thing is u don’t have a Afro hunny so u can’t wear one.” Another opined, “Why didn’t you get someone with an actual afro and freckles to model for you instead?” while another comment reads, “If y’all wanted a model that didn’t look white y’all could’ve booked a girl of colour.”
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Fifteen years and 150 finalists later, the @CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize has created global stars, local heroes, a must-watch New York Fashion Week, and, most important, a true sense of community among designers of all ages and backgrounds—all with differing aesthetic and commercial aspirations—who communicate, collaborate, and essentially care for one another through the fun and not-so-fun times. Laura Vassar Brock—one of the founders of 2016 #CVFF winner Brock Collection—says, “We spoke to a few friends who had gone through it, and they all said the same thing: that the Fashion Fund is a life-changing experience. And indeed it was!” Tap the link in our bio to learn more. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, November 2018
Addressing the backlash, Vogue issued a statement to explain there was no cultural appropriation intended, and that Jenner’s hairstyle was meant to evoke the Edwardian vibe of the collection she was modelling.
“The image is meant to be an update of the romantic Edwardian/Gibson Girl hair which suits the period feel of the Brock Collection, and also the big hair of the ’60s and the early ’70s, that puffed-out, teased-out look of those eras,” reads a statement provided to Page Six. “We apologize if it came across differently than intended, and we certainly did not mean to offend anyone by it.”
This isn’t the first time Jenner has found herself embroiled in controversy. Last year, she was the focus of an ill-conceived Pepsi commercial in which she used soda to quell a conflict between political protesters and police; the ad was widely criticized and quickly pulled.
“I feel really bad that anyone was ever offended,” Jenner said tearfully in response to the Pepsi backlash in a moment captured for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”. “I feel really bad that this was taken such a wrong way and I genuinely feel like s**t.”