Gigi Hadid has apologised for her appearance on the cover of Vogue Italia.
The model appeared with darkened skin on the front cover, shot by photographer Steven Klein, and was soon hit with "black face" comments from thousands of fans.
But now Gigi has explained she had no control over the final image and she acknowledges there are issues regarding diversity in the fashion industry in a statement posted on Instagram.
Sharing a throwback photo from herself leaving the shoot, she wrote: "This is a photo of me returning home from my Vogue shooting on April 3… you can see the level I have been bronzed to on set that day."
"Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction. 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post is out of my control fully."
She continued: "The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S.Klein has done for many years and I believe was what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively).
"BUT, although I understand what Vogue Italia’s intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid.
"I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouching/coloring of the cover. Please know things would have been different if my control of the situation was different.
"Regardless, I want to apologise because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from someone else, and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future.
"There are real issues regarding representation in fashion – it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry."
Fans of the star, 23, flooded social media with comments on the shoot after Gigi and Vogue both uploaded the cover image late on Wednesday.
"The Photoshop on this is an actual pisstake," one wrote. "Besides the fact that they’ve darkened her skin so much, the face doesn’t even look like Gigi. Whoever edited this photo should be fired. Period point blank."
Another said: "This is disgusting. Why have her in blackface when you could hire a darker skinned model?"
Others said it didn’t look like her at all, with one asking: "Is this supposed to be Gigi? Because you photoshopped her into an entire different girl."
And: "Major fail.. that’s not Gigi. Why book one of the most famous models and change her face 100%?"
Writing to famed photographer Stephen Klein, someone else described it as "disgraceful".
"Really? Come on man!! This is just insane! Disgraceful!"
But Gigi, who has covered Vogue more than 20 times, clearly didn’t see what her critics did to begin with as she gave everyone who worked on the shoot a massive shout out.
Sharing the cover shot with her 40 million Instagram followers, the model gushed: "Excited, honoured and grateful to cover @VogueItalia’s May issue by my loves @stevenkleinstudio, @pattiwilson @gb65 – thank you so so much for an amazing shoot, I am forever inspired by you all! And can’t wait to share the full story."
Klein is known for often darkening the skin of his models and came under fire recently for a shoot he did with Kim Kardashian for Interview Magazine.
Madonna also previously said she painted her face black for a shoot with Klein. The pictures were supposed to be used for an album cover, but the singer later changed her mind.
"I did a photo shoot with Steven Klein for my last album cover, and I painted my face black, except for red lips and white eyes," she told Rolling Stone.
"It was a play on words. Have you ever heard of the Black Madonna? It has layers of meaning, and for a minute, I thought it would be a fun title for my record. Then I thought, ‘Twenty-five percent of the world might get this, probably less. It’s not worth it.’ It happens all the time, because my references are usually off the Richter scale."
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