Last week W magazine’s official Twitter account was widely slammed after it posted a photo of models Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Alek Wek but saw fit to only tag the Hadid sisters, leaving the legendary Black model completely unidentified.
According to Pop Culture, that day the account tweeted out a link to a story about Off-White’s Spring/Summer 2020 during Paris Fashion Week, in which all three of the models had walked in. As is customary, that link was also accompanied by a photo of the models backstage at the show, with the original caption reading, “@GigiHadid and @BellaHadid were pretty in pink at @OffWht Spring/Summer 2020.”
Perhaps whoever runs the account somehow missed the fact that there was a third supermodel who needed to be acknowledged, but Twitter fans were immediately upset by the snub and called out the account for failing to identify Wek.
“So y’all aren’t going to name the beautiful woman in the middle?!” asked one reader.
With many others inquiring, “So your intern -or anyone else at W- doesn’t know the legendary Alek Wek?”
Hope the person that writes their social media posts got fired for this oversight. Pigment shouldn’t define beauty and W Magazine initially shouted out the two white people in this photo, completely forgetting to include the beauty in the middle.
— Momoneko (@Momonek09368753) September 28, 2019
For those who are unaware, the South Sudanese-born Wek has been strutting down runways for over two decades and in 1997 made history as the first African model to appear on the cover of American ELLE.
In her prime, Wek covered major high fashion magazines including Vogue Ukraine, American, French, German and South African ELLE, Glamour and Ebony and has walked for nearly every major fashion house including Chanel, Gucci, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, and Oscar de la Renta.
She has categorically earned the right to be called out by name. And the outrage sparked by W’s glaring omission led to the post being deleted altogether and replaced with another that properly tagged Wek’s account along with the Hadids.