- Diet Prada shared a series of “problematic” covers of American Vogue
- American Vogue is published by Conde Nast
- Deepika featured with Scarlett Johansson, Doona Bae on the cover
Diet Prada, a verified Instagram account that aims to keep the fashion industry honest by exposing plagiarism and designer rip-offs, has shared a series of “problematic” covers of American Vogue, each with undertones of racism, sexism and inequality of some sort. One of these covers, dating from April 2019, features Deepika Padukone. American Vogue is published by Conde Nast, which is currently in great turmoil over allegations from past and present employees of racial insensitivity in the workplace. The American Vogue covers would have been commissioned and approved by editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who is being held to account for the alleged racism on her watch.
Diet Prada – the account inspired an Indian version called Diet Sabya – has attempted to examine racist elements in the magazine’s covers, including one on which Deepika Padukone is featured with actresses Scarlett Johansson and Doona Bae. Diet Prada notes that the magazine spread on the actresses celebrates what Vogue calls “the new centre” and yet centre position in the photoshoot was reserved for white star Scarlett Johansson as it is for Vanessa Kirby in an accompanying cover. “Actresses of color like Adesua Etomi and Deepika Padukone were pushed to the side, serving more as props,” Diet Prada notes.
The collection of covers also includes one of basketball star Lebron James – the first African-American man to cover Vogue – and model Giselle Bundchen which echoes an American war-time poster featuring a gorilla carrying a swooning white woman.
Deepika Padukone, who made her Hollywood debut opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage, is a significant presence on the international fashion scene. The 34-year-old actress is now a regular at the Met Gala and the Cannes Film Festival – both of which have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic this year; Deepika was also supposed to walk the ramp for Louis Vuitton at the Paris Fashion Week in March. She decided not to travel because of the pandemic.
Conde Nast has been placed under the scanner on the sidelines of the Black Lives Matter movement. Two highly-placed staffers – vice-president Matt Duckor and Bon Appetit editor Adam Rapaport have resigned after allegations of racism and insensitivity. Anna Wintour, one of the most powerful figures in fashion and under whose oversight the annual Met Gala is held, will not be stepping down, Conde Nast has announced. “We know change is needed,” acknowledged CEO Roger Lynch, listing the publishing group’s roadmap to achieving racial justice and equality.