Gigi Hadid on Vogue Arabia's debut issue rakes up the cultural appropriation debate
Gigi Hadid just made history as the cover star for Vogue Arabia's first-ever print issue. Starting with this debut issue, the magazine will highlight style and cultural trends pertaining to the Middle East.
For the 23-year-old supermodel, this exciting opportunity is also tied to her own family background, as her father is Palestinian-American. Shortly after the cover was announced, Gigi took to Instagram to share her thoughts.
She wrote, "Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of Vogue Arabia." Adding, "I hope that this magazine will show another layer of the fashion industry's desire to continue to accept, celebrate, and incorporate all people and customs."
Photographed by Inez and Vinoodh and styled by Brandon Maxwell, the evocative images emphasize the supermodel’s Arab roots.
"The collage of countries across the Arab world are long-deserving of a place in fashion history," declares Abdulaziz on Vogue's website, "and there’s no better first 'face' to lead the charge for Vogue Arabia than Gigi, a model who defines tomorrow’s entrepreneurial and dynamic generation."
Wow this face!! Proud and excited to be the one to shoot the first cover and inside beauty image of #VogueArabia featuring the ultimate beauty @gigihadid styled by @brandonmaxwell hair by @ward_hair make up by #yadim nails by @ginaviv kisses iv ❤️❤️❤️ thank you @voguearabia @deenathe1st نقدم لكم غلاف أول عدد مطبوع من مجلة ڤوغ العربية بعدسة إينيس وفينود، والذي يصوِّر عارضة أزياء العام جيجي حديد. الرابط في البايو. #ڤوغ_العربية_هي_أنا
I think the beautiful thing about there being international Vogue's is that, as a fashion community, we are able to celebrate, and share with the world, different cultures. Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of @voguearabia, and I hope that this magazine will show another layer of the fashion industry's desire to continue to accept, celebrate, and incorporate all people & customs and make everyone feel like they have fashion images and moments they can relate to... & learn and grow in doing so. ❤ Thank you @deenathe1st for your vision and for having me on this cover... by the incredible @inezandvinoodh - so much love. A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on
Her message is certainly well-written and bears good intentions, but that doesn't mean it's going to be well-received by all, considering the backlash recieved by Vogue and Hadid on past misuses of culture appropriation.
Case in point: Vogue's diversity issue featuring Karlie Kloss as a geisha was met with backlash, because fans wondered why an Asian woman was not chosen to play a geisha.
Infact, in the last 13 hours the photo was posted, there has been some backlash on Twitter:
1 ur not muslim stop using the hijab for "art"
2 stop using the title "half palestinian" for ur benefit when u dont even fight for ur people https://t.co/BKY5RL0RcI
— mahershala's oscar (@yagirlbushra) March 1, 2017
Gigi Hadid: Half-Palestinian but not Muslim.
Vogue: Lets make Gigi Hadid wear a hijab because she's half- Palestinian so it's justified. pic.twitter.com/z1MdoAlNmp
— CHANEL (@chaneltherapper) March 2, 2017
CAN GIGI HADID STOP WEARING HIJAB AS A FASHION STATEMENT !!!! MUSLIM WOMEN ARE SHAMED FOR IT YET SHE CAN PARADE AROUND ON THE COVER OF VOGUE pic.twitter.com/g2s7bD0ZmN — NUHAA (@nuhaasoeker) March 2, 2017