Karl Lagerfeld shot Claudia Schiffer in blackface with an Afro wig two years ago for a Dom Perignon ad campaign. Stern Fotografie, a German style quarterly, decided to use the image as one of six hardback covers for their 60th and most recent issue. Backlash has ensued, naturally:
Shevelle Rhule, fashion editor at black lifestyle magazine Pride, said the images of Miss Schiffer were tasteless.
She said: ‘It shows poor taste and it’s 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.’
On the other covers, Schiffer appears as an Asian woman, Marie Antoinette, and a secretary. The model’s reps say she’s simply interpreting fantasy characters in the images. Her rep explained:
’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.’
The rest of the issue includes Karl’s other favorite images of Claudia.