Vogue India has been making the headlines lately with their splashy covers & controversial cover stars. In the last year alone, the esteemed Indian publication has taken tremendous flack for featuring Kendall Jenner (for its 10th anniversary May collector’s edition), her equally famous sister, Kim Kardashian West (just this past March), and now Pharrell Williams.
Many followers have commented on this use of non-Indian American celebrities, some noting the already major under-representation of Indian women & men in the media while others noting the lack of ingenuity showing such famous familiar faces.
I have nothing against Kim Kardashian but @VOGUEIndia is really doing itself a disservice by continually neglecting to portrait brown women in their “magazine”— you’re perpetuating a detrimental cycle of underrepresentation. Stop white washing your own damn culture.
— Aditi Prasad (@P_diti) February 27, 2018
Kim Kardashian on the Vogue India cover is nothing special… but I’m actually more concerned that even when the magazine chooses to feature Indian celebrities and models, they are almost never dark skinned. Which is a gross misrepresentation of real-life India.
— (@cleopavitra) February 27, 2018
I find Indian women one of the most beautiful and gorgeous women in the world honestly. I would rather see a gorgeous brown girl on the cover of @VOGUEIndia than Kim K, who we see everywhere, all the time
— MrsVazMayne (@MrsVazMayne) February 27, 2018
Vogue India quickly responded to fans concerns after Kendall’s May 2017 cover, by saying that as an international brand, it is important to collaborate with other cultures. In an official statement, the magazine also noted that, “In the last 10 years, Vogue India has had only 12 international covers, including Kendall Jenner, in 2017. Therefore, statistically, 90 percent of our covers are Indian! And we are proud of that.”
This month the magazine wanted to showcase two “global icons”: producer and rapper, Pharrel Williams, and famed Bollywood actress, Aishwarya Rai Bachan. Although a seemingly curious pick, Pharrell has been in the social spotlight for years, being an integral part of American music & pop culture for almost two decades. During the interview he chats with Aishwarya & about everything from parenthood, feminism and their upcoming projects.
The full interview can be found in the April 2018 Vogue India magazine, which hit stands on April 3. A snippet of the interview can also be found here on Vogue India.