One can certainly understand that this photo of Dasha Zhukova in a Russian fashion site was a bit disturbing of a white model sitting on a black mannequin. However, to release it on Martin Luther King day caused more than a little stir across the Internet this week.
The site Buro 24/7 has now issued a statement that “Buro 24/7 is categorically opposed to the idea of racism, oppression or humiliation of people in any form. We see this chair purely in an artistic context. We apologise to all our readers who were offended by these photographs.” I can understand the need for artistic license but this is an artistic message that has obviously disturbing racial elements even outside of the MLK holiday. I was repelled by the picture, which I assume was not the artistic purpose of the shot in a fashion magazine. In fairness to Zhukova and Buro, I assume that she had no idea of the release date and MLK is not a holiday in Russia. So I do not believe that this was any intentional act, but the chair itself remains troubling.
Zhukova is a Russian socialite and gallery owner. She is the girlfriend of oligarch Roman Abramovich.