A series of blunders in the latest issue of Elle Germany are creating havoc for the company, who has issued an apology after being accused of being racially insensitive. These include a tagline of “black is back” atop a feature of models of color and the wrong photo of a black woman against someone else’s name.
The publication is being called “culturally insensitive” after a number of question editorial decisions. Posting a photo of Elle Germany’s models of color feature, Instagram account @diet_prada wrote:
Ironic when they, along with much of the fashion industry, have been complicit in denying visibility to black models until relatively recently.
Readers also spotted that a profile on model Janaye Furman instead featured an image of Naomi Chin Wing.
The November issue features a cover tagline of “Back to black,” with a white model on the cover. Many on Instagram have called the issue “disgusting” and “disgraceful,” with user @gracevenescaffi writing: “that’s crazy that it managed to go through all the levels of editors and made it to print."
Supermodel Naomi Campbell also posted about the issue, saying it made her “so sad to see,” and publicly offering to make clear “the guidelines of diversity” to the editorial team.
Expressing deep regret, the magazine issued a statement which included the following:
In our current issue, we are approaching the color black from different angles. As one of our topics, it was our aim to feature strong black women who work as models for the fashion industry. In doing so, we have made several mistakes for which we apologize to anyone we might have hurt. It was a mistake to use the cover line 'Back to black' which could be understood as if black persons would be a kind of fashion trend. This obviously wasn't our intention and it was our mistake not to be more sensitive about this.