Karlie Kloss Apologizes for Appropriating Japanese Culture in ‘Vogue’ Geisha Photo Shoot

at 11:11 am | By

Karlie Kloss and Vogue are under scrutiny for appropriating Japanese culture in a photo shoot for an article titled “Spirited Away” in the magazine’s March issue.

While the March issue of Vogue was meant to celebrate racial diversity and body positivity, Kloss’s spread, in which she is dressed as a geisha in traditional Japanese clothing, was called out for being problematic. Many wondered why an Asian model wasn’t used in the photos when Chinese model Liu Wen is featured on the cover.

As seen in the photos above, Kloss’s blond hair is jet black and her skin is powdered white as she poses in Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park. The shoot was styled by Phyllis Posnick and photographed by Mikael Jansson.

Though Vogue did not put out a statement to address the criticism, Kloss responded to the backlash on Twitter Tuesday evening.

“These images appropriate a culture that is not my own and I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive,” wrote Kloss. “My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission.”

Vogue was previously criticized for the cover of the March issue when it was alleged that Gigi Hadid‘s arm was lengthened in Photoshop to minimize the size of plus-size model Ashley Graham‘s waist.