fashion editors vying for her to feature on one of their issues.
But the trendsetting royal has so far turned down all offers of a glossy magazine photoshoot,– including one by fashion bible Vogue, so it came as quite a surprise to see Kate gracing the August issue of Marie Claire South Africa.
In order to create their dream cover with the Duchess, editors at the South African magazine did the next best thing they could do and photoshopped Kate’s head and hands on the body of another model.
The cover headline reads: “Fashion’s New Royal Icon Wears SA’s Best Local Designs” but fully acknowledges the ‘fan-art’ aspect with a disclaimer at the bottom: “Of course she doesn't. But she should.”
On the cover Kate wears a gown created by local designer, Clive Rundle and inside the magazine she has been doctored into a series of five illustrations dressed in clothes from local designers.
[Related article: Teenage girls call for Teen Vogue to stop airbrushing in mags]
“We were so inspired by her fairytale wedding and her life as a modern-day princess, which is why we elected Kate Middleton as our cover star for the August issue,” the magazine's editor Aspasia Karras told the Telegraph. “The cover is actually a hyper-real illustration of Kate, meant to be a fan art tribute to fashion's new royal icon.”
As the cover hit the press last night it generated plenty of buzz, but for all the wrong reasons. Disgruntled fans took to the magazine’s website to discuss the image.
“She didn’t actually pose for the cover?” asks one reader. “How is that a good thing? Aren’t you cheating your readers as well as your cover subject?”
“I'm not really a fan of this idea,” another reader commented. “Will not be buying this magazine!”
Some even took to Twitter where they mistakenly attacked the Marie Claire US account.
In response Marie Claire US tweeted: “To clear confusion the sketched Kate Middleton MC S. Africa cover isn’t ours, we have #KristenWiig”
This cut-and-paste job is just one of many attempts by magazines to mock up what Kate might look like on a front cover. Last year Grazia landed in hot water for retouching an image of the Duchess in her wedding dress, making her waist significantly smaller than it already was. Most recently The New Republic caused a stir when Kate appeared on the magazine’s front cover with stained and rotting teeth.
Since the international media frenzy over the Kate Middleton cover Marie Claire South Africa has defended its ‘fan art’ cover.
Features journalist Samantha Steele stated in an article on the magazine’s website that the cover is “completely original” and “well-meaning”.
Marie Claire South Africa admitted the illustration had been merged onto the figure the chief copy editor, Nicci Collier, who posed wearing an African Clive Rundle design. However Steele said the inspiration for the image of Kate’s face comes from the original magazine covers of the 50s and 60s.
“We’re not denying that it’s cheeky: pushing the boundaries of a ‘normal’ magazine cover. It was our intention to create a cover that looked illustrated,” she wrote.
“Yes, this cover was Photoshopped – but it is also so much more than that.”
“We were daring, we were bold, we were innovative, and straying from the norm has confused some and upset others,” Steele concluded. [sic]
The illustrator of the cover, Clive Kirk, added: “Obviously Kate’s face was not simply pasted onto a model’s body. It is in fact a digital illustration created from reference supplied and changed according to specific instructions from Marie Claire’s creative team.”
Do you think it’s acceptable for magazines to fake their cover star?