PETALING JAYA: Vogue India has been blasted online for its decision to feature Kendall Jenner, a white American model, instead of an Indian model, on the cover of its 10th-anniversary issue.
It is the latest in a string of missteps for the US model who came under fire for her appearance in a controversial Pepsi commercial and more recently, for the promotion of the ill-fated Fyre Festival.
The Vogue India cover shoot for the anniversary, which was unveiled on Wednesday (May 3, 2017), saw many readers complaining they would have preferred an Indian celebrity or model in her place.
They said it’s yet another example of a missed opportunity to celebrate women of colour.
“Looks like there are not enough Indian models to celebrate your anniversary. Pity,” one user vented on an image of the cover posted on Vogue India’s Instagram page.
Another questioned, “She is beautiful but I’m pretty sure in a country of over 1 billion they could have found an Indian! If they want international phenomena Priyanka (Chopra) and Deepika (Padukone) are huge right now.”
“Love Kendall Jenner but this was an opportunity to showcase some of the talented and accomplished Indian women who are out there making a difference in India and the world in so many diverse disciplines,” posted Roopa Sachidanand on the magazine’s Instagram page.
The cover shot was taken by photographer Mario Testino at the Samode Palace in Jaipur, India, and shows Jenner clad in a lace Saint Laurent dress.
On Friday, Vogue India released a statement offering a “few clarifications” about the cover.
“In the last 10 years, Vogue India has had only 12 international covers, including Kendall Jenner, in 2017,” the statement said.
“Therefore, statistically, 90% of our covers are Indian! And we are proud of that.”
The magazine said that it wants to feature “some of the best international celebrities on our covers. Occasionally!”