Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and the likes may be among the highest paid models in the world but there's only one woman all fashion magazines are dying to get on the cover: the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
Attached to this article is the cover for the August issue of Marie Claire South Africa, which first emerged online in mid-June but was pulled down immediately.
It shows Kate Middleton rocking a dress by designer Clive Rundle, with a caption promising the magazine will bring even more photos of the royal dressed up in the latest fashion from South Africa.
As it happens, it's a fake – and no, the magazine is not trying to hide it in any way.
“Fan art tribute,” reads the same caption, which hints that this is a mere illustration of Kate and not an actual picture of her.
“Fashion's new royal icon wears SA's best local designs* (*Of course she doesn't. But she should),” the caption further reads.
In other words, Marie Claire did not get Kate to pose for the cover but it got the next best thing: pictures of her as if she did.
“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 but upon closer inspection, the cover is – much like her life – more fantasy than reality,” editor Aspasia Karras tells The Examiner
“The cover is actually a hyper-real illustration of Kate, meant to be a fan art tribute to fashion’s new royal icon,” the editor adds.
Be that as it may, but many find the “fan art tribute” a bit creepy, especially since the Duchess never signed off to being on the cover of the mag, in neither a fake nor real spread.
The Christian Post
has some of the reactions to the spread, with many saying on Twitter it is disrespectful, offensive and definitely not “fun” at all.
As of now, Marie Claire South Africa has not responded in any way to the backlash from the online community.