Supermodel Hadid responded to this by stating on her Twitter that her control of the shoot was “non existent in terms of creative direction” and “ends completely when [she] leaves the set”.
“Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different,” she wrote.
“Regardless, I want to apologise because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future.
“There are real issues regarding representation in fashion - it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry.”
The photographer behind the image, Steven Klein, has previously caused controversy with pictures of Dutch model Lara Stone for French Vogue, in which her face and body are painted black, and a cover shoot for Interview magazine of Kyle Jenner in a wheelchair.
Hadid acknowledged Klein’s history in her apology, although she defended the “intentions” behind the shoot.
“The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S.Klein has done for many years and I believe was what was expected from the shoot ( to show me in a different way creatively), but although I understand what Vogue Italia’s intentions were, it was not executed correctly and the concerns that have been brought up are valid.
Vogue Italia explained what that intention was in a statement to TeenVogue: “Throughout its history, Vogue Italia has respected and encouraged the creative viewpoints of commissioned photographers. In our latest cover shoot by Steven Klein, the vision was to create a beachwear-themed story with a stylised bronzing effect. We understand that the result has caused some debate with our readers, and we sincerely apologise if we have caused any offence.”
This isn’t the first time a Vogue Italia shoot featuring Hadid has been accused of racial insensitivity. In 2015, Hadid was seen sporting an array of afro wigs and this prompted a backlash with many asking why Vogue Italia didn’t simply use a black model if it wanted to feature a spread of afros.