Claudia Schiffer Magazine Cover Deemed as Racist

Posted by PZ on June 4th, 2010

ELLE Style Awards 2010 - Arrivals

Claudia Schiffer has stirred up a racial row over a magazine cover in which she is dressed up as a black women – Claudia has had her skin painted dark and is seen wearing an afro wig for the photo. Schiffer posed for legendary photographer and designer, Karl Lagerfeld for a photo shoot which was supposed to show “fantasy characters”.

The photos were taken two years ago for a Dom Perignon advertising campaign and have been chosen to appear in Stern Fotografie, a German fashion magazine which will use the photos in an editorial, and for the cover of their 60th anniversary issue.

Shevelle Rhule is the fashion editor of Pride, a black lifestyle magazine, who says that these images are tasteless and offensive:

‘There are not enough women of colour featured in mainstream magazines. This just suggests you can counteract the problem by using white models. I don’t believe they deliberately set out to offend, they obviously see it as being arty and feel that they are pushing boundaries. But clearly no thought has been given to the history behind what they have done and the comparisons it draws with minstrel shows.’

In the other images selected, Claudia is also seen dressed up as an Asian woman, Marie Antoinette and a secretary.  A spokesman says that the images were made to represent men’s fantasies and have been taken out of context:

“The pictures have been taken out of context. The images were designed to reflect different men’s fantasies. The pictures were not intended to offend, they were done very creatively and they are some of Karl Lagerfeld’s favourite images of Claudia. People should not jump to conclusions.”

Has the photo been taken too seriously? It is artistic expression or racial insensitivity? or even complimentary – that they were celebrating how desirable and beautiful black women can be?

You can check out the image of Claudia dressed as a black woman here.

Category: Claudia Schiffer