Magazine apologises after publishing image of wrong black model

Magazine published photo of wrong model
In a feature on supermodel Adut Akech (right), WHO magazine published an image of Flavia Lazarus (left). Photo credit: Instagram/Getty.

Supermodel Adut Akech says Australia "has a lot of work to do" after a women's magazine attached an image of a different model when publishing an interview with her. 

The South Sudanese-Australian model spoke out about the error on social media, posting a photo of the WHO magazine spread which included an image of fellow black model Flavia Lazarus, mistakenly identified as Akech. 

"This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances," Akech wrote on Instagram. 

"Not only do I personally feel insulted and disrespected, but I feel like my entire race has been disrespected too and it is why I feel it is important that I address this issue."

The 19-year-old added that she felt particularly upset after discussing the fashion industry's attitude to people of colour in her interview. 

"By this happening, I feel like it defeated the purpose of what I stand for and spoke about. It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrowminded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same.

"We know that this doesn't happen with white models." 

According to the BBC, WHO issued an apology, saying it had been given the wrong picture by the agency that set up the interview.

A spokesperson for Melbourne Fashion Week, of which Akech is a campaign model, published their own statement on Instagram, writing they were "extremely disappointed". 

"Both Adut and Flavia have expressed their disappointment and we support them. This error is unacceptable, and both WHO magazine and our public relations agency, OPR, have apologised."

Akech, one of the world's most in-demand models, was featured on three Vogue covers in August: British Vogue, Vogue Germany and Vogue Japan.