Simon Cable, Daily Mail (London), June 4, 2010
Claudia Schiffer has been accused of racial insensitivity after appearing on a magazine cover made up as a black woman.
The 39-year-old supermodel wore dark foundation and an afro wig in the shots taken by celebrated fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld.
His images, taken two years ago for a Dom Perignon advertising campaign, were among six shots of Miss Schiffer used by German fashion bible Stern Fotografie to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
But Shevelle Rhule, fashion editor at black lifestyle magazine Pride, said the images of Miss Schiffer were tasteless.
She said: ‘It shows poor taste and it’s offensive.
‘There are not enough women of colour featured in mainstream magazines. This just suggests you can counteract the problem by using white models.
‘I don’t believe they deliberately set out to offend, they obviously see it as being arty and feel that they are pushing boundaries.
‘But clearly no thought has been given to the history behind what they have done and the comparisons it draws with minstrel shows.’
The magazine has used a collection of pictures from the Dom Perignon shoot to adorn different covers of the popular magazine including another that features Schiffer as an Asian character.
Others depict her as a secretary, while a further image shows her impersonating Marie Antoinette.
Representatives of the model claim the pictures are intended to show the model as a variety of fantasy figures.
A spokesman said: ‘The pictures have been taken out of context. The images were designed to reflect different men’s fantasies.
‘The pictures were not intended to offend, they were done very creatively and they are some of Karl Lagerfeld’s favourite images of Claudia. People should not jump to conclusions.’