The global fashion magazine February 26, 2024 
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Welcome to Vogue India: it’s about time


September 30, 2007/4.39

Vogue India cover 
As someone who has long championed the Asian subcontinent—and Lucire has been linking Indian and Pakistani sites as they came to light over the years—I was happy to see that Vogue India has made it on to newsstands. The new magazine is a milestone in the rise of the subcontinental fashion industry, which arguably has had a longer tradition than anything in the occident. It also signals a rise in global luxury brands entering India—something which I hope will soon be more of a two-day street.
   The cover, too, addresses concerns that I expressed in a blog post last week, on the ubiquity of the white model on catwalks. There has been some chatter about why Gemma Ward, a blonde, blue-eyed model, occupies a third of the cover, but the answer is fairly simple, I thought: Vogue India is evidently a magazine that appeals to the global nature of the Indian consumer. Her presence suggests that in a shot. But the international girl is usually quite desirable from a publisher’s or licensee’s eyes, too.
   As a man, I have to say that my eyes went to the other models first: Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra, Monikangana Dutta, Preity Zinta and Laxmi Menon grace the cover and gatefold, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Perhaps it is the ubiquity that I wrote about, but the south Asian models are stunning.
   The domestic cover girl is very important, as we learned with Lucire Romania. The original cover girl—Karen Carreño—made less of an impact than the first Romanian to appear, Monica Gabor. 
   South Asia is a region that I am keen on getting in to with Lucire. My best wishes go to Priya Tanna and her team at Vogue India.

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5 thoughts on ‘Welcome to Vogue India: it’s about time

  1. While I understand your reasoning “Vogue India is evidently a magazine that appeals to the global nature of the Indian consumer”…

    I still wish they hadn’t included her on the COVER and instead focused on “Indian” beauty without any distractions.

    Ps. I agree that despite her being in the center, my eye was drawn to the gorgeous ladies on her sides. Which makes me wish she wasn’t in the middle even more! :)

    Great Blog by the way!

  2. As an Indian American I was thrilled when I first heard that Vogue was branching out to India, however the thrill soon turned into disappointment when I saw the inaugural first issue. It was bland and boring, the inaugural issue of Vogue India. Unfortunately, I don’t see much of anything distinctly “Indian” about it. I see them highlighting Australian model Gemma Ward, flanked by two Indian women, who may as well wear signs saying “sidekick” around their necks. To add to the affront, the Indian models both have blue eyes.
    I know that most will say that it may not be too much to worry about because most Indians have bigger fish to fry like poverty but Vogue had a greater responsibility to do right by India and it failed.
    Sad to say, this isn’t the first time. Vogue pulled the same stunt, with the same model on the cover of Vogue China’s inaugural issue

    I’m sorry but when I look for a Vogue India, I want to see beautiful Indian models all over the magazine; I want accurate representation.

    Gemma Ward pales in comparison to the lovely Aishwarya Rai, so why isn’t Miss Rai on the cover? What about Shilpa Shetty? Looking at the other models, they didn’t even need Ward on the cover. Their beauty speaks volumes.
    Unfortunately, their beauty wasn’t allowed to grace the cover without Gemma in the middle. What does speak volumes is Vogue’s subliminal message that unless a Caucasian female is associated with it, it’s not beautiful. The use of models with blue eyes (or possibly color contacts?) further cements Vogue’s idea of what women of color should look like in order to be considered pretty enough to stand next to a white woman’s beauty.
    If this the way Vogue is going to operate when launching magazines for perspective countries, I shudder to think what Vogue Kenya may be. I can just see it now.
    This is why we should be extra vigilant to the messages that the media sends children of color and protect them from deception. I wouldn’t bring this magazine into my house to line a bird cage.
    Vogue’s message is loud, clear and pathetic. If this is the best Vogue can do, they should be ashamed of themselves. Gemma isn’t the standard of beauty in this photo, in all reality, she barely makes the cut.

  3. KD, thank you for your contribution. I particularly agree with this part: ‘we should be extra vigilant to the messages that the media sends children of color and protect them from deception.’ And, speaking with some personal bias, I think very, very few men would consider Gemma Ward to be more attractive than Aishwarya Rai.

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