London, United Kingdom (AHN) – Supermodel Claudia Schiffer has sparked a race row after appearing on a magazine cover as a black woman. The 39-year-old German catwalk beauty wore black makeup and an afro wig for photos shot by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The controversial photo was taken two years ago for a Dom Perignon ad campaign. It was one of the six shots of the model used by German fashion bible Stern Fotografie to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Other shot features Schiffer as an Asian woman while another shows her impersonating Marie Antoinette.
Though some hailed the images as creative, Shevelle Rhule, fashion editor at black lifestyle magazine Pride, calls the images tasteless.
She told Daily Mail, “It shows poor taste and it’s offensive. There are not enough women of color 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.”
Schiffer’s rep told the paper that they did not intend to offend anybody, saying, “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 favorite images of Claudia. People should not jump to conclusions.”