Political Fashion Statement: Vogue’s stake in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Arguably the world’s largest fashion magazine, Vogue is causing a stir with it’s decision to have American-Palestinian model Gigi Hadid recreate Michaela Bercu’s first Vogue cover from 1988.

The original cover featuring the 18-year-old Israeli model marked Anna Wintour’s first issue at American Vogue as editor-in-chief.

Hadid has already built a name for herself, posing for Sports Illustrated earlier this year and walking runways at international events.

Some fashion experts see the decision as a portrait of harmony in a time of increased conflict.

“Everything that happens around the world from war..to revolutions, is reflected in fashion, it’s a way of expressing ourselves and a way through which designers express themselves,” Hadia Sinno, a fashion expert in Lebanon told Al Arabiya News.

Others, however, are criticizing the magazine for “supplanting” the Israeli model. Sigal Samuel in The Jewish Daily Forward says Vogue is using Hadid to pledge its support for Palestine.

The magazine, meanwhile, only mentions the physical similarities between the two (at the time) teen models. Undoubtedly, Bercu and Hadid share the same sandy blonde hair, squinty eyes and golden skin–but it’s difficult to believe ethnicity doesn’t come into play when the magazine editorial includes it after their names.

The 1988 cover was strikingly different from the average fashion magazine cover, presenting a comfortable and laughing Bercu in casual clothes and natural makeup. Wintour had attempted something groundbreaking with her first cover, and is stirring things up again with the Vogue site relaunch.


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