Vogue highlights young models of color & Kaia Gerber for their April cover

Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai's Diamond Jubilee Luncheon

Vogue Magazine’s April cover was slightly unexpected. Anna Wintour devoted an issue to “Beauty Without Borders,” or the idea that the fashion industry could embrace multicultural fashion and multiethnic models instead of, you know, just tossing the same old 14-year-old white children down runways and declaring them to be the new It Girl. That being said, Kaia Gerber’s inclusion on the cover makes me think that Vogue is winking at all of those people who want to see the same old white faces on runways. The other cover models are Adut Akech and Ugbad Abdi.

I looked through the cover package – you can see it here – and while I applaud this slow movement to embrace models of color, obviously there are still some blind spots. There’s only one “curvy” model featured in the package, Paloma Elsesser, because while fashion will play around with having brown and black models, those models still need to be very young (that’s the most important thing) and very thin (also super-important). Anyway, here’s Kaia’s little write-up:

The fact that young voters are poised to play a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the 2020 elections is not something that’s lost on Gerber. “With all the information that’s out there, we can’t claim ignorance anymore,” says Gerber, who turned 18 last September. “My generation sees it as their duty to educate themselves, to speak up—we won’t be silenced by anyone.”

Gerber’s already thinking hard on her candidate of choice, a political awakening sparked when she attended the March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles two years ago. Her very public stance on gun control prompted an emotional outpouring of support on social media. “We have ways of communicating with each other now that we didn’t have before,” says Gerber, whose Instagram following is over five million strong, exceeding even that of her supermodel mother, Cindy Crawford. “When you have a big platform, it seems irresponsible not to use it for good.”

[From Vogue]

Honestly, I do worry about the youths and their politics. I come from a generation which was politically educated by MTV’s Rock the Vote, Henry Rollins, Riot Grrls, and Bill Clinton’s presidency. We didn’t have social media or all of these niche political echo chambers (well, to the extreme that is these days). So yeah, while I rolled my eyes at what Kaia was saying, I believe she was saying it earnestly and that she really hopes teenagers are getting involved this year. (So far, they haven’t been involved in the primaries hardly at all.)

Cover & social media courtesy of Vogue.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

59 Responses to “Vogue highlights young models of color & Kaia Gerber for their April cover”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Nev says:

    Yayyy Adut!!! Love her and love Kaia too!!!!
    Haven’t bought a Vogue in months or more will get this.

    • Moe says:

      I think diversity in fashion is great BUT…..
      is it just me or do these models look like children? Maybe I’m just getting old but sometimes when I see young teenaged models in high fashion or,worse, lingerie, I feel…wrong. and worried for my own preteen and teenage girls.

  2. Valiantly Varnished says:

    There is literally no need for Kaia to be on this cover other than a nod to whiteness so that people dont freak out about two African women – one of them being dark skinned – being on the cover.

    • Astrid says:


      • Jess says:

        Yeah, geez. Those women are just stunning and poor Kaia doesn’t even seem to know how to pose.

    • Nina Simone says:


    • Snowslow says:

      So true.

    • Chica71 says:

      Ain’t that the truth.. always need milk with coffee even if diary is bad. Vogue does the inclusive crap at least once a year then say circulation was bad etc. Did they ever figure out that blacks and browns of all color and sizes would buy consistently if featured consistently with inclusive beauty products and styling etc?

    • Erinn says:

      It looks like they added her to the cover with Photoshop.

    • Snazzy says:

      100% this. She’s not even an interesting model. If it wasn’t for her mom she would barely be able to buy a copy, let alone be on the cover

    • Mel says:

      I was gonna say, they just couldn’t help themselves could they?

    • Eleonor says:


    • Yeahbutt says:

      It looks like kaia photobombed a collection of beautiful people. This amps the obvious lack in substance – can anyone else see the obvious?!?

    • BaddieB says:

      It looks like she just walked up to see what was going on and the snapped the pic. lol so out of place.

    • Solace says:

      +2 There’s no need for Kaia.

      But, if I may, there’s no need for Wintour. Hasn’t been for quite some time. Vogue US needs a new editor other wise it will go under with her at helm…she has made it that irrelevant (barring this cover).

      • fleur says:

        @solace. YES! I have been thinking that for the last decade. It’s past time they got a young person, hopefully a POC, for their editor in chief. Vogue America hasn’t been the arbiter of fashion since I was a late teen, and that was 20 years ago. It drives me crazy that Wintour still has a death grip on the publication. She’s driving it into obsolescence. Ridiculous that they felt the need to add Kaia to the cover. Ridiculous that they’ve never had an African American photographer take the cover shot until Beyoncé guest edited and chose one herself. Ridiculous that they only use stick thin models, that they ignore the growing influence of Hispanic culture in American fashion. I hate how racist the fashion industry is.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m guessing they did it for articles like this. Free publicity!

    • Beanie says:


    • horseandhound says:

      why would you say that? why is there no need for a white girl? if the idea is to show beauty has no borders and women of all races and ethnicites can be beautiful then that includes white women too. I personally think both of those girls are prettier than kaia, but she’s still a pretty girl and why would you throw her out?

    • Diana says:

      So true!

  3. Betsy says:

    Yes, I’m team “I wish that rail thin weren’t the default.” Of course there are adult women who retain slender hips, jutting collarbones, and a very thin body, but that is not remotely attainable for the vast majority of America. Beyond simple representation, that clothes are designed with that body shape in mind is not good.

    • Rose says:

      Yes it’s attainable, just not easy .

      • GreenTurtle says:

        Being thin is hard, but attainable. It’s the specifics of that body type. A classic runway model body isn’t attainable for many, no matter how thin they are. Models are physical outliers.

      • Anon says:

        Nor healhty.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’ve seen more and more smaller clothing companies advertising with real diversity in their models’ size, shape, race, etc. It’s great, and the feedback is usually very positive. Hopefully the upper echelons of the industry eventually catch up.

  4. Tiffany says:

    No matter how much they try to photoshop Kaia, she still looks like her dad.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I don’t understand Kaia bring on the cover. She’s inside the border.

  6. Erinn says:

    There might be more niche echo chambers now, but you also have a ton of places that will fact check all of this in a way that you didn’t have before. At the end of the day, the younger generations are getting more into activism. They’re still young, and they haven’t fully figured things out, but I feel hope there.

    And keep in mind, I think 2018 midterms was the FIRST time that more than half of Gen X voters turned up to vote. Gen Z showed up at around 30% for their first time being able to vote in an adult election. That’s not anything to really sneeze about considering that it’s taken this long for Gen X to break the 50%. Millennial’s doubled their voting turnout to around 42%. It’s a good sign, guys. We’re heading in a good direction.

  7. Lucy says:

    Kaia looks so out of place in there.

    • Trillion says:

      agree. And that expression is….weird and stern and I don’t see anything behind it.

  8. Ann says:

    I don’t support fashion. It’s an abusive industry forcing its employees to starve themselves. I can’t believe women reward that kind of abuse by buying the products.

    • LouBear says:

      Giiiirl, do you wear clothes?! @ann

    • Snowslow says:

      I had never read such a clear statement about what bugs me in fashion. I tell my kids that I stop enjoying actors/tresses or singers’ work when I see them posing for some fashion or make-up brand without being able to articulate my thoughts. It’s a horrible industry where only Jean-Paul Gaultier seems to have some form of sanity (hired Gigi when she was “athletic-looking” and called for people to buy less clothes and bring him their old ones so he could make a new outfit out of them for sustainability).

    • Rose says:

      So I take it you sew all your own clothes?

    • Mara says:

      Obviously the fashion industry is necessary because without clothes we’d all freeze or get skin cancer but it needs to change massively. Fast fashion exploits the poorest people in the world and is literally killing the world due to it’s environmental impact. It’s not easy but where I can I try to only buy fair trade or second hand from charity shops (they have some great bargains).

  9. Allergy says:

    They are all really gorgeous, but that’s a really bad photo!

  10. nicegirl says:

    Not a big Kaia the supermodel fan but I’m sure she’s an okay kid.

  11. WendyWoo says:

    It loterally looks like she is awkwardly leaning into someone’s photo. This girl cannot model.

  12. Lady Keller says:

    One of these things is not like the others…..

  13. Other Renee says:

    Why can’t they smile? It would be so much nicer.

  14. Bella says:

    They are all gorgeous, especially the one in the middle. Is that Adut? She is stunning.

  15. Kim says:

    This cover doesn’t remotely do justice to Adut Akech’s beauty. I’m obsessed with her face and her story is fascinating. Love her!!

  16. trallalla says:

    kaia looks like an angry toddler

  17. Miumiiiu says:

    I love that head wrap, and the model wearing it is beautiful.
    This is random but in this photo of Kaia, I see… Amanda Knox

  18. BANANIE says:

    As someone who can never afford high fashion, I don’t mind stick-thin models, because for me, it’s never been about attainability. The clothes were made for bodies like that (right or wrong) so that’s how they are meant to be showcased.

  19. Jules says:

    kaia, now known as the sister to the guy who tattooed “misunderstood” on his face.

  20. Berlin George says:

    I was watching that doc about Kevin Aucoin yesterday and Cindy Crawford was featured in a lot of it when she was super famous. Kaia has nothing of what Cindy had when she started modeling. She was so stunningly beautiful it took my breath away. I had forgotten just how beautiful she was, until I saw her back in the day.

    • Anilehcim says:

      I recently saw some pics of Cindy back in the day and was blown away. I forgot how gorgeous she was, too. I lost a lot of respect for her when she flipped out and lost her mind over those untouched pics that a photographer leaked of her, but she was insanely gorg. Kaia is average AF and wouldn’t have a career as a model at all if she wasn’t Cindy’s daughter.

  21. clairej says:

    When I saw this yesterday on Instagram it just highlighted to me how Kaia isn’t a photographic model. I think on the catwalk she is pretty good. But compared to Adut it looks like she just ran up and asked Adut for a selfie!

  22. Anilehcim says:

    I have said it before and I will say it again: Nobody would ever look at Kaia Gerber twice if she was not Cindy’s daughter. I’m not even convinced that she would get work in catalogs. She looks nothing like her mother whatsoever despite the fact that people love to say that they’re twins and being tall and thin does not equate “supermodel material.” She looks like a very tall child and has zero appeal.

  23. Peri says:

    Maybe changing the headline to include Adut and Ugbad’s name instead of “models of color and Kaia Gerber” would be a good thing too. I understand they’re not as big of names as Kaia on here, but Adut is one of the most sought-after models in the world right now, and calling her and Ugbad “models of color” while Kaia gets her name listed feels like a part of the problem.

    • horseandhound says:

      I agree. they were equals on that cover and they should get equal credit.

    • Joanna says:

      I think Kaiser was throwing shade by saying “models of color and Kia Gerber.” As in why is Kia Gerber a model in a photoshoot about WOC? Kaiser is not white btw.

      • Bubbagirl says:

        But who said it was a photoshoot about woc? It literally says women from around the world. Doesn’t that include a little bit of everything?

  24. Seri says:

    The beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder. I feel like the most beautiful model from the cover is the one on the left. The girl in the middle and Cindy’s daughter are just meh. And of course white girl should also be on the cover, since the theme is about women around the world. Perhaps there should be more of other ethnicities too.

  25. Mama says:

    I just came to say my friend’s sister designed that jean jacket on the left. That’s all. 🙂