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Anna Wintour Finally Speaks Out About Vogue’s Asma al-Assad Profile

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“Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.”

Vogue editor Anna Wintour on the profile the magazine did on Syrian first lady Asma Al-Assad. Assad’s husband Bashar al-Assad is responsible for Syria’s spate of violence against its own citizens. The March 2011 profile happened to coincide with the rise in violence in the country, and was unceremoniously removed from Vogue’s website in April 2012. Author Joan Juliet Buck explained that she chose to profile Assad because, “I think that Vogue is always on the lookout for good-looking first ladies because they’re a combination of power and beauty and elegance. That’s what Vogue is about. And here was this woman who had never given an interview, who was extremely thin and very well-dressed and therefore, qualified to be in Vogue. And they had – Vogue had been trying to get her for quite a long time.” [Fashionista]

Vogue Scrubs Syria’s First Lady From Its Website

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Oh Vogue, you are so very good with the fashions, but the politics? Not so much. The high fashion mag’s latest gaffe is a poorly-timed profile of Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad, which ran in the mag’s March 2011 issue. It used to be searchable on Vogue’s website, but it’s since been taken off the site. Why, you might ask? Well, Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, is responsible for a vicious crackdown on his own citizens that began last year — right around when the profile on Asma was published — and has resulted in more than 9,000 Syrians have died. And according to reports, Asma is far from innocent. She’s been characterized as a “Marie Antoinette” of the regime, shopping for jewelry and clothing online while the violent uprising occurred.

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