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Is This Racist?

Cultural appropriation in high fashion has been a hot topic of late and not even Vogue can escape it.

The Victoria's Secret model, who's white, wears Japanese clothing and hairstyles. On the cover, the 31-year-old sports an elaborate hairdo that's inspired by traditional Japanese hair. Inside the issue, Orlando Bloom's ex wears a full-on Geisha outfit including a floral kimono and slippers. Miranda also wears a samurai-inspired outfit underneath a shearling coat ('cause, why not?)

Even though Miranda is popular in Japan, some fans were angry with the fashion magazine for putting a white woman in Japanese clothing, reports RocketNews 24. Others were upset that Vogue Japan didn't use one of the many successful Japanese models (ahem Tao Okamoto!) to pose for the special anniversary issue.

Photographer Mario Testino, who shot Miranda for the issue, defended his vision for the photo shoot:

"I wanted to represent ancient and modern Japan with these three characters," he said. "Japan has geisha and samurai, as well as manga, and I hoped to express these themes through Miranda to the Japanese people."

Of course, Vogue Japan isn't the first, nor dare we say last, publication to put white women in "ethnic" clothing. Another magazine put actress Michelle Williams in redface and Numero magazine darkened the skin of a white model for their African Queen photo shoot.

In fact, it's clear that cultural appropriation is rampant among the fashion set. Victoria's Secret was lambasted for putting a Native American headdress on model Karlie Kloss for their yearly runway show and Vogue Nippon editor Anna Dello Russo was criticized for taping model Crystal Renn's eyes back to make her "look more Asian." They really can't help themselves.

What do you think of the cover?

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