Raising awareness for a cause as horrific as domestic violence is a laudable cause. This horrific crime is a reality for far too many in the world and people should be taking a stand to stop the violence. How we raise awareness, though, is another matter. In Vogue Italia’s latest controversial issue, domestic violence is depicted in a 10 page glossy spread with bleeding, cowering women, covered in blood and Prada. It’s revolting and insensitive and in poor, poor taste.
Because nothing says, couture like a dead woman at the bottom of the stairs.
According to some reports, there are over a million victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, and many of them ending in homicide. Vogue magazine has garnered international outrage in their May 2014 issue which features the cover image and a 10 page photo spread making a “political statement” to highlight domestic violence. Titled, “Cinematic,” images show models decked out in the latest high fashion ensembles, hiding from men welding knives and blood everywhere. It’s a scene that is being compared to “The Shining.”
Conde Nest Italia’s editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, is no stranger to controversy, having pushed the envelope in her editorials. In 2008, she published an edition featuring only black models. In 2011, she put plus sized models on her cover and in another issue, sent models to pose at the site of the worst environmental disaster in US history, the BP Oil Spill.
The May issue, they released this accompanying video, “Horror Story,” with a breathy spokesperson narrating:
Photographed by Steven Meisel, the magazine stands behind their editorial, stating:
It doesn’t matter if we run the risk of causing a general uproar with the media or arousing criticism; or if we are accused of exploiting pressing issues just to push our way in newsstands. What is important for us is that at least one of the dozens of women suffering violence every day can feel our nearness. And that those who follow us may feel stimulated to take action, condemn, and support women in trouble. And that they all see that all of us at “Vogue Italia” are on their side: by utterly and radically condemning all types of violence. This awareness urges us to make some noise. In our own way.
Though the intention may be good, the manner of which they decided to showcase this, sadly, is not. Bringing to light the horrors of domestic abuse is somehow lost in translation when, in the corner, next to a frightened model the text reads, Dress: by Marc Jacobs.
What do you think about Vogue’s latest issue?