An Australian supermodel confused by Who Magazine for another model has & # 39; unintentional racism & # 39; tackled in industry.
Adut Akech, who was born in South Sudan, was interviewed by the magazine and discussed the issue of race and how people view refugees.
The 19-year-old said the blunder was almost ironic given the context of the interview, in which she wanted to shed light on racism and change the way people look at refugees & # 39 ;.
Instead, her quotes were displayed next to photos of another woman.
Fellow African model Flavia Lazarus was the model accidentally depicted in the story, which was published in the magazine earlier this week.
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The distribution of Who Magazine claimed that the model depicted above – actually Flavia Lazarus – was Akech
The magazine has since apologized for both models, which consider the mix as & # 39; embarrassing & # 39; and & # 39; painful & # 39; have stamped.
Akech told The Daily Telegraph the apology would & # 39; do nothing to undo & # 39 ;.
& # 39; It's racist, but of course I know it wasn't intentional. It was a mistake that should not happen, & she said.
Lazarus said the incident brought her to tears.
& # 39; We don't have the same head shape, we don't look the same, except we have the same skin color and a shaved head, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; I feel bad for Akech. She has torn off her ass and you feel invisible. & # 39;
Model Flavia Lazarus (left) was published in the magazine when they intended to share photos of Adut Akech (right) they interviewed
A statement attributed to a Who Magazine spokesperson confirmed that the incident was an unfortunate misunderstanding and was not intended to offend.
WHO IS ADUT AKECH?
Adut Akech is a 19-year-old supermodel who grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya before moving to Adelaide with her family.
She was initially scouted by modeling agencies as a 13-year-old, but only started her career at the age of 16 when she joined prestigious Chadwick Models in Australia.
Her career rocketed from there.
She has collaborated with some of the largest brands in the industry, including Saint Laurent, Valentino, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford.
She is now the ambassador of Melbourne Fashion Week 2019.
The PR agency OPR of the City of Melbourne allegedly made a mistake when sending files to Who Magazine, which resulted in confusion.
When organizing the interview, they reportedly sent a file with images of Lazarus, instead of Akech.
& # 39; Unfortunately, the agency that set up our interview with Adut Akech provided us with the wrong photo to accompany the piece & # 39 ;, said a spokesperson for Who Magazine.
& # 39; Who spoke directly with Adut to explain how the error occurred and sincerely apologize.
& # 39; We also apologize to Flavia Lazarus for the printing error. & # 39;
The magazine also said they hoped the mistake would help create a discussion about diversity.
& # 39; Hopefully, because of more pressure from people, more people will talk about this problem in the industry and tackle it frontally. & # 39;
The 19-year-old global sensation said the mix beat the goal of sharing its story completely (Photo: Adut Akech at the David Jones Spring Summer 2018 Collections Launch)
& # 39; Not only do I feel personally offended and not respected, but I also feel that my entire race has not been respected. & # 39;
The 19-year-old global sensation said the confusion had completely defeated the purpose of sharing her story.
She said it was contrary to everything she stands for, while she was the & # 39; arrogance & # 39; of the people involved.
& # 39; I feel that this would not have happened with a white model, & # 39; she said.
Akech has modeled for some of the largest brands in the world, including Prada, Miu Miu, Tom Ford and Valentino.
She also recently appeared on the prestigious September cover of British Vogue, guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
Strong women: Akech (top left) was one of the 14 women who appeared on the cover of British Vogue & # 39; s prestigious September edition, guest edited by Meghan Markle
While in town for Melbourne Fashion Week, Akech made time to talk to Who Magazine about what she had been up to lately and took the opportunity to discuss diversity and acceptance in the industry.
& # 39; I want to change the way people look at refugees & # 39 ;, she said in the position.
She spoke about problems that were dear to her, born in South Sudan and raised in a Kenyan refugee camp before she and her family moved to Adelaide, where she said the mix was all the more difficult to handle.
& # 39; This has upset me, this has made me angry … to me this is unacceptable and unforgivable under all circumstances. & # 39;
She said this was not the first time that such a confusion took place, citing an incident in which she was named with the name of another model of the same ethnicity.
& # 39; For people in the industry this is not good and you should do it better, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Australia, you have a lot of work to do. You have to do better. & # 39;
Akech said she hopes her experience will generate conversation and encourage diversity and understanding.
Melbourne Fashion Week has released the above statement on their Instagram account
Akech has modeled for some of the largest brands in the world, including Prada, Miu Miu, Tom Ford and Valentino
FOLLOW THE FULL STATEMENT FROM AKECH
& # 39; Over the past few days, I have been thinking deeply about how to handle this situation that does not suit me well.
& # 39; For those who don't know, last week
& # 39; Who Magazine (Australia) has published an article about me. In the interview I spoke about how people view the attitude of refugees and people towards color in general.
& # 39; With the article, they published a large photo that said it was me. But it was from another black girl.
& # 39; This has upset me, has made me angry, it has given me a huge disrespect, and is unacceptable and unforgivable to me in all circumstances.
& # 39; Not only do I feel personally offended and not respected, but I also feel that my entire race has not been respected, so I think it is important that I address this issue.
& # 39; The person who clearly did this was the thought I was in that photo and that's not okay. This is very important because of what I was talking about in my interview.
& # 39; As a result of this event, I feel it has defeated the goal I stand for and what I was talking about. It shows that people are very ignorant and narrow-minded that they think that every black girl or African people looks the same.
& # 39; I feel that this would not have happened with a white model. My goal for this post is not to bash Who Magazine – they immediately apologized to me – but I feel like I need to publicly express how I feel.
& # 39; This has touched me deeply and we must start an important conversation that must take place. I am sure I am not the first person to have experienced this and that it must stop.
& # 39; I have been given the name of other models that happen to be of the same ethnicity, I find it very ignorant, rude and disrespectful of the both of us because we know this doesn't happen with white models.
& # 39; I want this to be a bit of a wake-up call for people in the industry, it's not OK and you have to do better.
& # 39; Large publications must ensure that they check things before they are published, especially if they are real stories and interviews and not just some rumors.
& # 39; For those who work at shows and shoots, it's important that you don't swap model names.
& # 39; Australia, you have a lot of work to do and you have to do better and that goes to the rest of the industry. & # 39;
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