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“Numéro Magazine considers that it has regularly demonstrated its deep attachment to the promotion of different skin-colored models. For instance, the next issue of Numéro for Man on sale on 15th march has the black model Fernando Cabral on the cover page, and the current Russian edition’s cover of our magazine features the black model Naomi Campbell on its cover.”

Translation: We love models of all colors, which is why we have a Black model on the March issue and oh Naomi Campbell–the queen of the Black models–as the cover of our Russian edition. See what we did there?

“This demonstrates the completely inappropriate nature of the accusations made against our magazine, deeply committed to the respect for differences, tolerance and more generally to non-discrimination.”

Translation: We don’t discriminate against any models of color. We could have chosen a Black model, but then you guys wouldn’t be talking about us.

Oh and if that wasn’t enough, the photographer that Numéro is blaming, Sebastian Kim has also issued an apology via Huffington Post. And in his, Kim mentioned not wanting to portray a Black woman, but instead inspired by Middle Eastern & Moroccan culture. Oh, right. That makes sense because the women in the Middle East are Black.

Then he claims to not have known about the “African Queen” title, but Numéro is pointing the finger at Kim. They are both apologizing by blaming it on each other. Check out Kim’s apology here:

“I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding around my recent photos for Numero France. It was never my intention (nor Numero’s) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60′s characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marissa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot.

It saddens me that people would interpret this as a mockery of race. I believe that the very unfortunate title “African Queen” (which I was not aware of prior to publication) did a lot to further people’s misconceptions about these images. It was certainly never my intention to mock or offend anyone and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who was offended.”


Sebastian Kim

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What Numéro Magazine’s Apology For ‘African Queen’ In Blackface Actually Meant  was originally published on

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