Starving for Fashion
This summer Vogue Italia made headlines and history with it’s Black Model issue.
Vogue India is making a similar splash, but not necessarily in a good way.
In the issue the magazine showcases everyday Indian people wearing expensive clothes.
In the New York Times Onlinethey cite: “A family of three squeezes onto a motorbike for their daily commute, the mother riding without a helmet and sidesaddle in the traditional Indian way — except that she has a Hermès Birkin bag (usually more than $10,000, if you can find one) prominently displayed on her wrist.
Elsewhere, a toothless barefoot man holds a Burberry umbrella (about $200). ”
Vogue India’s editor Priya Tanna told critics to “lighten up”.
“Fashion is no longer a rich man’s privilege,” Tanna said. “Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful.”
“You have to remember with fashion, you can’t take it that seriously,” Tanna added. “We weren’t trying to make a political statement or save the world,” she said.
Half of India’s population of 456 million people live on less than $1 dollar a day, according to the World Bank.
But India also has a growing middle class which is projected to number to over 41% of the population by 2025.
Still, many people are downing Vogue India for it’s use of the poor.
“The juxtaposition between poverty and growing wealth presents an unsavory dilemma for luxury-goods makers jumping into India, “ Nation & World writes. “How does one sell a $1,000 handbag in a country where most people will never amass that sum of money in their lives, and many are starving? The answer is not clear-cut, though Vogue’s approach may not be the way to go.”