Vogue Italia In Trouble For Fashion Spread Using “Blackface” As White Model Poses In African Headdresses And Wraps

March 10, 2014  |  

Vogue Italia/Visuelle

At this point, someone’s just playing crazy at these fashion magazines.

In the new issue of Vogue Italia, in a spread called Abrecadabra, model Saskia de Brauw poses in African-inspired headdresses and wraps with her face painted to make her dark. As pointed out by the Huffington Post, when de Brauw is not wearing brown face in the spread by photog great Steven Meisel, she’s “playing” with animals, including a fake lion, wildebeests and more while wearing gele-inspired looks and African-inspired print designer threads. Her face paint, clearly supposed to be a play on the facial markings and paintings that different ethnic groups around the continent wear also stuck out to me.

The constant desire to depict African culture in fashion spreads is not a bad thing at all, but when are folks actually going to pick up the phone and call African/African-American models for these things? And at the same time, do these spreads have to be so caricature-driven? You can show love to the Ankara/wax dutch prints that are stamped all over clothing now and show love to the continent at the same time without having homegirl rolling around with animals. Just saying. Too many photoshoot spreads go downhill fast when they’re so hellbent on trying to portray only an extreme or stereotype. I wouldn’t say I’m offended (which was the question posed by the Huffington Post), but I was definitely left feeling a bit uncomfortable by the shoot. How about you? Check out more of the images and share your thoughts.

Vogue Italia/Visuelle Vogue Italia/Visuelle Vogue Italia/Visuelle Vogue Italia/Visuelle





Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • affropuffs

    This is completely offensive. Why is it that Africans must always be portrayed as barbarians!? The black face is one thing, but the posses, the disrespect towards the culture and the poses with the animals is just completely and totally offensive. All the animals in this spread are bound or gagged or chained. This whole photo shoot is offensive… I’m just beyond disgusted..

  • Shay

    Personally I’m not bothered by this. I don’t feel that there is always an intention to disrespect. Sometimes we can be a bit overly sensitive.

  • English

    What people have to remember is white people use to be black and they want to be black, and from personal experience Italian men LOOOOOOVE black women.

  • bigdede

    This is Italia Vogue. Not only have they done this before but they are the ones who had the Black models only Vogue. They aren’t in trouble and nothing will happen. Blackface is something horrible in America but not overseas

    • Coco Black


    • Guest

      Well they better keep that mess overseas and don’t come to America with it.

  • Guest

    Desperate for attention aren’t they? I don’t buy Vogue anyway.


    lol they are too funny

  • guest


  • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

    The thing is is that its so played out and boring now. There is no shock factor. They just look foolish