The New York Times recently reported on a controversial fashion spread in VOGUE India's August issue which features high fashion luxury brand handbags and accessories worn by; according to whomever you believe; either "poor" or "average" Indian citizens.
Just one month after VOGUE Italy's much-vaunted July issue, VOGUE India finds itself facing criticism. At issue is whether it is ethical to portray luxury goods in situations that suggest severe poverty - is the jarring juxtaposition callous, considering that nearly half of the country's population lives on $1.25 a day or less*, or is it a practical statement about the growing wealth of India's middle and upper classes?
I haven't been able to see all the images from the photo spread, so it is difficult to judge one way or the other. From the shot above, I see nothing wrong with it. It appears to be showing fashion on "regular" people, which is normally favored by readers around the world. If the spread raises the issue of global poverty, all the better.
According to Priya Tana, editor at the one-year old VOGUE India, critics should know that
"fashion is no longer a rich man's privilege. Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful...you have to remember with fashion, you can't take it that seriously."
So whether you view the spread as aspirational or just asinine, at least the controversy has started a dialogue within the fashion industry about the ethics of marketing luxury goods in new markets where poverty is rampant.
READ the article HERE
LEARN more about fighting Global Poverty at the ONE Campaign and help make poverty a campaign issue this election HERE
*Source and photo credit: The New York Times