Vogue India's latest

Boy, this is disgusting, from the New York Times: Vogue’s Fashion Photos Spark Debate in India

That bib is likely priced at about two months' wages for this lady. This looks like cruelty to me -- let them eat cake.


asliarun said...

Sorry, i disagree with you here. Extending your logic, the only people who would be suitable to model these clothes and accessories would be the super-rich who can suitably afford them (who else would be stupid enough to buy these overpriced items just for their brand-name anyway).

On a side note, i think that most Indians are over-sensitive about perceived slights and insults, and generally lug around a massive inferiority complex. You can see this manifest itself in so many behaviours that are considered peculiarly "Indian". Extreme poverty and extreme wealth are both part of India, and in my humble opinion, should be treated the same way.. facts of life that can be portrayed either with pathos or with humour.

As the Vogue editor says in the linked article, we all need to lighten up.

Nancy said...

Fair enough. I have seen two articles on this Vogue issue: one in the New York Times, one in the Guardian. And I'm American, of course. I've never fully gotten used to the tremendous disparities in income here. Maybe Indians see it differently. I don't see the humour part, but I admit that it's subjective.

I hope these people were paid normal modelling fees, at least...

Sahith said...

"Tremendous disparities in income HERE?" excuse me, HERE?

In advance apologizing if I seem rude, let me just point out that these "Tremendous disparities in income", as you so aptly put it, are not exclusive to this (or ANY, for that matter) nation. It exists VERY openly all over the world (or are you trying to tell me there are no poor or homeless people living in the U.S?), and it'll continue to stay that way because all people, in general - irrespective of country, ethnicity, gender or culture - tend to just not give a shit about anyone other than themselves. It may be better-hidden in the more developed countries such as yours, but it exists as a very realistic part of day-to-day life.

Our friend who posted the first comment may see this opinion as one of those manifestations of "most Indians being over-sensitive about perceived slights and insults, and generally lug around a massive inferiority complex. You can see this manifest itself in so many behaviours that are considered peculiarly "Indian".",

The funny thing here is that he's using the emphasized word "Indian" almost as an insult here (again, he may say it's a "PERCEIVED INSULT" which is just another way of saying he'll insult people all he wants and if they're offended by it he doesn't give a rat's ass), and then he's accusing us of being over-sensitive about it.

The reason this thing sparked a controversy is because these people weren't used as models: as you can see the woman is still dressed in her street clothes, while the child has been donned the high-fashion stuff - probably their perverted way of saying even the poorest can afford their products, which, as you can see from the price tag, is NOT the case. Somehow, I fail to see the joke - it's like advertising a sports shoe by putting it on a heavily disabled person, so forgive me for not seeing the humour in it.

Then again, one can hardly expect a bunch of people who have turned a uselessly superficial thing into a billion-dollar industry over the years to consider a normal person's feelings.

Nancy said...

Yes, of course there are disparities everywhere. I would feel equal revulsion at the equivalent 'fashion' layout in America, or any other country.

asliarun said...

To add, the concept of having the "common" man model designer wear is fairly common in fashion photography nowadays. It is usually done to capture everyday life on the move ("keeping it real" as the Americans say), or for some other esoteric reason of high-fashion. It is not usually done to be deliberately tasteless or to put down the so-called "common" man.

One of the trend-setters in this style of photography is Max Vadukul, who ironically is of Indian origin.

Joel said...

They didn't even ask the names of the people they had modeling for them. One can only imagine what they payed for the models if anything at all.

Fashionita outsourcing?

BTW, hi.

Jineesha said...

I remember seeing this one. Very distasteful. I hate it when the rest of the world perceives India ONLY as hungry poor people. India has extremely rich people and extremely poor people and there is a gap. So this is a very one-sided view of a country you know so little about.
I don't think there was a need to mix style with poverty. There are sooooo many rich Indians who can buy your stuff, dear Vogue (the world's fourth richest person is Indian, by the way) and if you think we can't afford it, why do you launch your brands here?

I would understand if you were trying to say that you are giving away 10,000 bags, shoes, clothes and accessories to any Indian, free- which is why you portrayed even poor people carrying these expensive brands, then I would probably understand the picture on the cover. But that is obviously not the case!
India is leaving you faaarrrr behind- its growing at such an enormous rate in IT, technology, outsourcing, entrepreunership, culture, talent, fashion, media, technology,web, and everything under the sun and you still choose to perceive us only in this same light?
By the way Vogue, do you know how big the fashion industry in India today is?? India's style quotient is way beyond your imagination.

I'd rather buy a local brand owned by these poor people for their well- being instead of a Fendi or a Burberry if they are so hoity- toity about it!
No Vogue, I dont think high of you at all.