IS VOGUE ITALIA RACIST? Its “Haute Mess” Story Features African-American Stereotypes

A spread from Vogue Italia's "Haute Mess" pictorial. (Stephen Meisel for Vogue Italia)

Fashion magazines have long been accused of being discriminatory against people of color, so the latest controversey isn’t too much of a surprise.

The new issue of Vogue Italia features a pictorial shot by celeb shutterbug Steven Meisel, and the theme is supposed to be a take on the notion of “Ghetto Fabulous.” (SEE PHOTOS BELOW) But did they took it far, with its depiction of over-the-top ensembles, wild weaves, extra long fingernails, and baby carriage-pushing women.

Vibe magazine published its opinion on the spread: “I will give Vogue Italia the benefit of the doubt that it was not their intention to be racist or offend anyone, but let’s keep it real for a minute: How many white girls [or any other ethnic backgrounds for that matter] do you know that dress or look like this? Exactly. Racist may be a little harsh of a word to describe this editorial , but it was definitely done in poor taste and judgement. Fashion is about being creative, pushing boundaries, and being expressive. Steven Meisel and Vogue Italia failed miserably at achieving these goals.”

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