Vogue Italia Editor Invites Everyone Who Thought Cover Story Was Racist to Seek Psychiatric Help

Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani is (naturally) defending her magazine's controversial current cover story, which features a cast of top models in outlandish wigs and hair pieces and gold grills toting babies, eating fast food, and taking pictures of themselves with their jeweled cell phones. The fact that many of the styles mimicked in the story are associated with poor people of color — and in several cases were ripped directly from source photos of black women that have circulated for years as targets for online mockery, "People of Wal-Mart"-style (note the similarities between the photos at center and right shown above) — has led numerous publications (including ours) to raise questions about classism and racism in the spread, and in fashion generally. But Sozzani — who flatly denied that the online images were the real source images, which, come on — isn't having any of it. In fact, Sozzani thinks her critics are crazy. And she means that very literally. After paying lip service to the idea of "mak[ing] a discussion" and how she "respect[s] everybody's opinion," New York asked Sozzani if she accepted the criticism that the spread was classist. Sozzani snapped back:

"There are so many sick people around the world that you cannot — I don't care about them. I care about normal people. They want to read and see the normal way as we did. If they are sick, it's not my problem. I am not a psychologist. They should find somebody who could help them."

[The Cut]


In this preview clip from the Kate Moss episode of Absolutely Fabulous , Patsy insults the supermodel's age. [YouTube ]
Vogue Italia Editor Invites Everyone Who Thought Cover Story Was Racist to Seek Psychiatric Help Gisele Bündchen pulled a Keira . She posted this picture to her Facebook page with the caption, "When I went to Africa I discovered that elephants are one of the smartest and most complex mammals on earth. If we don't protect them, they can be extinguished ." [Facebook ]
Vogue Italia Editor Invites Everyone Who Thought Cover Story Was Racist to Seek Psychiatric Help 17-year-old New Zealand Maori model Yasmin Bidois says before she came to New York to pursue her career, she had an after-school job at a movie theater. "Great perks," she says. "Free movies and half price on all food and soda." [WWD ]
Vogue Italia Editor Invites Everyone Who Thought Cover Story Was Racist to Seek Psychiatric Help David Beckham says he doesn't regret wearing matching leather outfits to a Versace party with his wife in 1999. "I look back on some stuff and think I can't believe I actually wore that. I have no regrets, though — I knew at the time it was good! Me and Victoria wore matching black leather outfits once. They were Versace. But that's one when I look back and am like, 'What were we thinking?' We laugh about that one. I remember that it's really good until you do it as a couple." [Vogue UK ]
  • The Ethisphere Institute's annual list of the world's most ethical companies includes Gap Inc., Patagonia, Costco, Marks & Spencer, Target, eBay, L'Oréal, and Shiseido. The Institute measures ethicalness by noting which companies have practices "exceeding legal minimums for compliance, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public and forcing their competitors to follow suit." [WWD]
  • Women find the idea of leaving the house in the morning without makeup more stressful than public speaking, a job interview, or a first date, according to a survey of 3000 U.K. women. A third of women wear makeup to the gym, and one in six women say they won't even answer the front door without makeup. [DM]
  • There is some serious and weird beef between the lawyer for Alexander Wang and the lawyer for the garment worker plaintiffs who are currently suing the designer for alleged illegal working conditions. Which might be why the plaintiffs' lawyer recently passed the case on to another labor lawyer. [The Cut]
  • Haider Ackermann says enigmatically, "There are two houses I would be interested in. Two where I feel there is a shared sensibility, where I could bring somethign else of myself to the house, which isn't expressed in my own line." Ackermann has been rumored to be a front-runner for the top job at still-rudderless Christian Dior. [FT]
  • Ralph Rucci contends that recent news coverage highlighting his company's financial troubles has been a blessing in disguise. After the Post ran a story suggesting a bankruptcy filing was imminent, Rucci says, "Serious money came to me and said, ‘do you want to play?'" The designer claims that while he did speak to legal experts about what Chapter 11 would entail, he was never on the brink of bankruptcy. "It's almost like I want to send that journalist a thank you because everyone came forth with support and literally that article turned my business around." [ArtInfo]
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  • Tommy Hilfiger says getting a CFDA lifetime achievement award is an honor. Sky blue, water wet. [WSJ]
  • For just $6,000-$8,000, you too can have individual hairs from the nape of your neck surgically transplanted to your eyebrows to keep up with fashion's ongoing trend for fuller brows. [Elle]
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is preparing a major costume design retrospective, titled "Hollywood Costume." It opens October 20 and includes Judy Garland's Wizard of Oz gingham dress. Costume designer Ann Roth, whose movies include Margot at the Wedding, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The English Patient, for which she won an Oscar, says it's irksome that some people think of costume design as mere styling. "There are some people who will go into a store and say, ‘What do you think she should wear? Oh that's nice.' That's not what I do. I don't know a stylist personally. I'm sure they're trained. I don't know in what." [WWD]
  • Selita Ebanks' new swimwear line includes a lot of fringe. [NYDN]
  • Enrollment at three of the top design schools in the U.S. — New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Intitute, and Parsons School of Design — has grown up a whopping 34% during the last ten years. The number of design degrees granted by those institutions over the same period grew by 40%, to a total of over 4,200 degrees issued in 2010. That rate of growth outpaces other fields, including New York's other big industry, finance. There is demand for the degrees, but is there demand for the graduates? [Fashionista]
  • Alexa Chung says she applied as a teenager to London's Central Saint Martins fashion school, but didn't get in. [Guardian]
  • Nars is planning a limited-edition Andy Warhol-themed collection, to launch in October. [WWD]
  • Where are they now? Racked's look at the ten most-Googled denim brands of 2006 is occasionally hilarious. [Racked]
  • J. Crew had a quarter of stupendous growth: its profits increased from $4 million one year ago to just over $15 million during the three months ended January 28. Same-store sales rose a healthy 6%. [WWD]
  • Michael Kors, which recently went public, has raised its full-year guidance. It projects revenue of $350-$360 million this year. [WWD]
  • Profits at Tiffany during the fourth quarter were essentially flat, dropping 1.6% compared to the same period one year ago. Sales totaled $1.9 billion, and profits totalled $178.4 million. [WWD]