General News

Schiffer's 'black' snap causes controversy

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Jun 04, 2010 | 5:00am EDT

The catwalk queen dressed in an afro wig and wore dark make-up for a shoot with designer Karl Lagerfeld in 2007 as part of a Dom Perignon advertising campaign.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, German style publication Stern Fotografie published the snap, along with five others taken as part of the same photoshoot.

Now, a fashion editor at black lifestyle magazine Pride has slammed the photograph - comparing the image to those of America's controversial "minstrel shows".

Shevelle Rhule says, "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."

However, Schiffer's rep insists the snap was not meant to offend: "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."

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