W always likes to do something different for their annual Art Issue and this year is no different. When forum members spotted the cover of model Sui He photographed by Max Vadukul in collaboration with notorious Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, it got an instantaneous controversial reaction.
“I absolutely love it,” wrote KINGofVERSAILLES. “This is a really bold cover for them, and without a doubt one of the most interesting mainstream fashion magazine covers I've seen in a long time. When you compare it to last year's Kim Kardashian cover for the art issue, it's even more remarkable.”
Tigerrouge had a different response: “I know what they're trying to say, but I don't want to see an Asian woman being abducted or mugged on the cover of a magazine, because in plain terms, that's what it looks like,” she posted.
Faith Akiyama had mixed feelings. “Whoa, as much as I respect W for this and think it's wonderful for Sui He, I'm still shocked that W did end up going with a China-born model for this cover. Ai Weiwei isn't exactly the most popular figure in China right now, and I would've thought that association with him would not be the most positive thing for any Chinese model, even if W is mainly distributed overseas… hmm. Interesting,” she wrote.
Crosiden commended W for what he thinks is a strong, statement-making cover. “This is a striking cover,” he said. “That this is a reference to Ai Weiwei's 1988 Tompkins Square photo series, I only hope the Chinese government will make such a distinction. Sui He is an incredibly brave woman to make the decision to be associated with the concept of this cover, editorial and even Ai Weiwei himself. This is several proud moments in one; a model, a social issue laced concept, and more importantly, an Asian woman on the cover of an American magazine.”
W has definitely got us thinking this month. It’s nice to see a mainstream American fashion magazine that still dares to do something different and potentially unpopular.
Image: newyorkmodelsblog.com via the Fashion Spot forums.
TheFashionSpot's Forum Buzz editor, Chrissy Makkas, has been a member and moderator of the tFS forums since early 2005. She regularly reports on hot topics and up-to-the-minute commentary from the forums, and highlights what trendsetting members are shopping for and wearing from week to week in her popular "What We Bought" and "Forum Street Style" features. You can find ChrissyM in the forums here.