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Vogue India Has Poor Model Luxury: Tasteless or Beautiful?

Vogue India decorated poor women dressed in worn clothing with luxury status items. In one editorial photo spread a baby dons a Fendi bib, and in another a toothless woman holds a Burberry umbrella. Considering that 456 million live on $1.25 a day in India, there aren't too many families that can dress their babies in $100 bibs.

Critics say the spread makes light of nightmarish poverty in India— for example, thousands of Indian farmers have killed themselves over the last decade because of debt. But the editor of Vogue India told the New York Times that critics need to "lighten up," and that the editorial expressed the fact that:

[F]ashion is no longer a rich man's privilege. Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful. You have to remember with fashion, you can’t take it that seriously. We weren’t trying to make a political statement or save the world.

While some may say the photo shoot brings fashion to the people, I can see how others could argue that it glamorizes serious human suffering.

Join The Conversation
vanitypot vanitypot 8 years
Extremely tasteless :( there is nothing "beautiful" or "tasteful" for that matter in romanticizing poverty.. poverty hinders people to use their fullest potential as HUMANS and having the poor on a large fashion magazine as cover isn't going to help them :(
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
:rotfl: MM!!!
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
yep and $500 shoes too
coffeemug2007 coffeemug2007 8 years
Tasteless! It's disturbing to peddle status while the majority struggles for survival.
stephley stephley 8 years
You saw more in it than the Vogue spokesperson did.
pinkmystic pinkmystic 8 years
Beautiful I viewed it as awareness.. and how materialistic things had no value to people in certain situations... It's their country's magazine.. so i see where they're coming from.
goatimpact goatimpact 8 years
I thought this photo shoot was in bad taste but what bothered me the most is that it seemed to indicate that the more affluent in India are not sensitive to the poverty that exists there anymore. I know that's not true, by any means, but it is what is being portrayed here. I also read on Sepia Mutiny that they didn't even credit the models for this shoot in the captions.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
That sad little girl looks pretty impressed to be wearing a DESIGNER sweater!! :oy: ..but I think she'd be happier with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Actually, I guess the whole ensemble could feed the whole village for several years, but then ~ why host an auction in order to donate to hunger and humanity when people might get the wrong impression, better to dress them up and try to increase profits. ;) [sarcasm]
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Oh, c'mon know that you have a whole drawer full of those cute $100 bibs and I am sure cute little Milo's closet is full of $200 jeans, too! :-)
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
These vogue people are sick. On another note...$100 for a bib that a baby will barf all over and ruin...yeah that's a great idea.
ewray4381 ewray4381 8 years
They say they "weren’t trying to make a political statement or save the world." True, but imagine what would happen if everyone did just a little. Vogue could have featured fair trade items instead of stuff made for pennies and resold for hundreds of dollars. That way they could still sell the stuff, but a small community of people would make enough money to actually survive and have enough to eat. Putting a $100 bib on a baby who probably didn't have enough to eat that day is just crass.
stephley stephley 8 years
Who was the target audience for this layout? Rich people looking for gift ideas for the help? Poor people who wonder how they'd look if they had one outrageous accessory? And the quote just makes no sense at all, on any level.
kathili kathili 8 years
Sort of understandable I guess....but very weak premise. Maybe if they donated the costs of the items or did something nice for their photographed subjects...
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Vogue is completely exploiting these people for advertising and I find it extremely irreverent and it shows a complete ignorance and a callousness to their plight. Its kind of like photographers trying to make artwork out of the beat-up faces of abused women to display on their homes. I hope in exchange they at least let them keep the clothes and jewelry and teach them how to sell them on e-bay for food, which could give them some temporary relief so their providers won't be killing themselves in frustration for at least one year.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
I think India (and many, many other countries, for that matter) have MUCH bigger problems to address than what is in fashion for the season.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
So very...very bad. I love fashion, I really do, in an artistic sense, a creative sense. But to sit there and waffle on about how "anyone can afford it" makes me wonder if the Vogue Editor has a flippin clue about elementary math. People who are committing suicide because their lives and livelihoods are being destroyed ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT FENDI ANYTHING. They are thinking if they will live to see another day, if there will be food, if there will be safe water, if they will be warm in winter, safe from disease... The guy is insane. He's a flippin nutball. "Can't take it that seriously", eh? So what happened to those people when the shoot was over? Were they even compensated? Does a woman who can barely feed her family give a rat's arse about a free bib? All I can imagine is the look on her face as she stares at something worth months of her salary that cannot contribute to the essence of her survival in any way. Fashion is disposable. The lives of those people were not, except in the eyes of Vogue.
stiletta stiletta 8 years
I'm all for a global economy, but I think they seemed to have missed the bigger picture here.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
Last time I checked only rich men could afford to buy $100 bibs. Vogue, wacky, tacky and true, skinny bitches who live in ther own hungry little world. Ugh.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
So true, rac! It's Derelicte!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I am wondering if Vogue India paid these people what they would have paid a "regular" model to take these photos?
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
tasteless. Im all for viewing fashion as an art form but this is far from that.I wonder if the 'models' got paid for this? I hope they at least did
nylorac nylorac 8 years
this is so callous.
foxie foxie 8 years
Vogue: It costs about a million dollars to have zero class.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Tasteless and typical. Treating people as accessories to hold, uh, $10k accessories, is just bad form.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Fashion is no longer a rich man's privilege? Bull crap. That statement just makes no sense to me... sure anyone can pull it off but only if they can afford it. I personally think the spread tasteless... however, if the people got to keep the items that would be nice - and I'm sure they don't even care that they are designer items... personally I love their native, non-designer duds much better anyway.
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