Chelsea Football Club owner and billionaire Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend, Dasha Zhukova, landed in some hot water after an online magazine published a photo of her sitting on a chair made from the mannequin of a black woman on Monday, Martin Luther King Day.
Claire Sulmers, editor of FashionBombDailycom, said that the photo was a clear example of “white dominance and superiority, articulated in a seemingly serene yet overtly degrading way.”
She wrote on her blog that the inspiration for the chair seems to have been taken from a collection designed by British pop artist Allen Jones in 1969.
"The art and fashion industries are the few bastions of society where blatant racism and ignorance are given the greenlight in the name of creativity," Sulmers writes.
“This is incredibly racist,” Organizing for Women's Liberation tweeted Monday, after learning about the pictures.
Zhukova and Duma both sparked widespread anger, and the image has since been deleted from Duma’s Instagram account and cropped out the chair on Buro 24/7.
"We are against racism or gender inequality or anything that infringes upon anyone's rights,” Duma's apology said. “We love, respect and look up to people regardless of their race, gender or social status."
Zhukova also released a statement saying: “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.”
But the apology hasn’t stopped Twitter users from expressing their outrage.
User Ric Caric wrote, “I guess Garage Magazine thought that today would be a great day to advertise their racism,” while Julee A. Wilson tweeted, “MLK is turning in his grave and I'm cursing these people's stupidity with all my heart and soul! MAJOR fail!”
User Nikia tweeted: “Extremely disappointed in Miroslava Duma and Buro247 for posting this nonsense, especially on a day like today. smh,” and Alex von Tunzelmann wrote, “Even in the grim, tasteless world of fashion photography, this revolting racist image- pub'd on MLK Day!- stands out.”