Racism in Fashion: Hailey Baldwin for L'Officiel

Hot on the heels of Kylie Jenner's black face photo shoot which drew plenty of controversy for the right reasons, comes Hailey Baldwin's squinty, slitty-eyed oriental girl look. 

Racism knows no boundaries if fashion continues to be dominated by the predominantly old white supremacists of the fashion world in the west. (E.g Such as Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld infamous for putting as few black or coloured models on his runway or commercials.)

The Problem with Kylie Jenner's Black Face Photo Shoot
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Image source: Kylie Jenner's Instagram account

While some may argue that Kylie Jenner's black face is not as bad as Zwarte Piet's as she looks more like a alien or specially edited fashion model, there is no doubt that a person of non-white descent has had their face painted black. All the sparklies on her face, colorful highlights on her hair and artistic angles cannot tear her away from the fact that she is trying to mimic a black person.

One may ask why the photographer and stylist who were part of producing these photos why they did not look for a black or mixed-race model instead.

Hailey Baldwin's Racist Cover for L'Officiel Nederlands April - May 2015 issue
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Image source: http://fashioncopious.typepad.com/

Why did Hailey Baldwin agree to have her eye powdered over white, eye-liner drawn over the top lid only with pink eye-shadow on her eyelids to look like a stereotypical China doll.

Wouldn't famous models like Liu Wen, Sun Fei Fei or Dun Juan do the job just as well without the unnecessary make-up to exaggerate her features to resemble a certain ethnicity?

While some might cast this incident as purely artistic or for fashion, it is a clearly insensitive, racist attempt to degrade Chinese people. 

L'Officiel is an ancient, archaic, backwards French fashion magazine published in Paris since 1921. How fresh would their recommended styles and fashion be if they are still so backwards and entrenched in racism?

We wonder if it still targets upper-income, educated women with such demeaning editorials. Not to mention the coincidence of the Dutch editorial team, Zwart Piet and French people being inherently racist.


As such, we are calling out to all Asian and coloured fashionistas to rise up against the stereotypes, it's time to fight against all this discrimination because it's simply not right.

Either by boycotting brands and magazines that do not feature a balanced ratio of racial types or starting out on your own to create your very own fashion network by sharing all your pictures online.

Send us some of your pictures and when we can feature you in our favourite reader style section.

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