Vogue in India

"Vogue's Fashion Photos Spark Debate"

"NEW DELHI — An old woman missing her upper front teeth holds a child in rumpled clothes — who is wearing a Fendi bib (retail price, about $100)."

"A man modeled a Burberry umbrella in Vogue that costs about $200. Some 456 million Indians live on less than $1.25 a day."

So is it right to have the poor of India model these high-end fashion pieces, or was it just an interesting idea that shouldn't be taken to heart?
The idea has sparked some controversy in the media in India:

"The editorial spread was “not just tacky but downright distasteful” said Kanika Gahlaut, a columnist for the daily newspaper Mail Today that is based here, who denounced it as an “example of vulgarity.”

There’s nothing “fun or funny” about putting a poor person in a mud hut in clothing designed by Alexander McQueen, she said in a telephone interview. “There are farmer suicides here, for God’s sake” she said, referring to thousands of Indian farmers who have killed themselves in the last decade because of debt."

On the other hand, the editor of Vogue has a different take on things:

"Vogue India editor Priya Tanna’s message to critics of the August shoot: “Lighten up,” she said in a telephone interview. Vogue is about realizing the “power of fashion” she said, and the shoot was saying that “fashion is no longer a rich man’s privilege. Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful,” she said."

Vogue has done a little more than show off a few luxury goods. I am almost positive those "models" were not paid as they should have been and it is a fact that they were not recognized by name in the magazines. Not a great idea, Vogue India.

article by Heather Timmons
The New York Times

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