Model accuses magazine of racism after photo mix-up
A supermodel has hit out at a magazine which used images of a different black model in a profile about her career.
Adut Akech, who is a South Sudanese-Australian, told Who Magazine about her experience as a former child refugee and being a woman of colour in the fashion industry.
But the magazine, which has since apologised, used photographs of model Flavia Lazarus, who is also black.
Miss Akech said she felt disrespected and that the incident was “unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances.”
“I feel as though this would’ve not happened to a white model,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
“I’ve been called by the name of another models who happens to be of the same Ethnicity, I find it very ignorant, rude and disrespectful towards both of us simply because we know that this doesn’t happen with white models.
“It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrowminded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same.”
In a statement, PR agency OPR, which handled the images for the magazine, apologised for the incident.
“The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologise for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved,” it said.
Who Magazine also apologised and said it had spoken directly to Miss Akech.
“We also apologise to Flavia Lazarus for the misprint,” it added.
Adut Akech has modelled for various fashion brands, has been on the cover of Vogue and i-D magazine, and was the second ever black model to close a Chanel haute couture show.
The 19-year-old also works with the United Nations, helping to highlight the plight of refugees.
She was born in South Sudan, with her family escaping the war-torn country for a Kenyan refugee camp, before moving to Adelaide, Australia.
Miss Akech was featured on the front of the September issue of Vogue as one of 15 “trailblazing” women chosen by the Duchess of Sussex as a “force for change”.