Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis was right when she said that Paris is full of surprises, especially during Fashion Week: Woody Harrelson sat front row at Stella McCartney, Givenchy took its inspiration from FKA Twigs, and Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto both dyed their hair platinum blond. But what she found the most shocking, wasn’t pop culture or runway related, instead it was the homeless looking woman on a city street reading Vogue magazine.
“Paris is full of surprises . . . and @voguemagazine readers even in unexpected corners!” she wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday alongside a photo of a person covered in blankets on the ground in front of a metal shutter.
The 32-year-old has been Vogue's style editor at large since 2012. She’s also a princess, the daughter of Countess Gloria von Schönburg-Glauchau and Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, and this isn’t the first time she’s ruffled feathers. She instantly came under fire for the image. “I think this comment was made in poor taste. Shame on you,” one commenter wrote. Others echoed the sentiment calling it “cruel,” “tasteless,” and “offensive.”
In response to her detractors, she joined in on the conversation in the comments and added: “Why cruel? The person to me is as dignified as anyone else!” And also, “OMG calm down. Even the homeless are allowed to have good taste.” Eventually, the aristocrat removed the post. On Sunday, she uploaded an image of the River Seine with the caption: ”I wanted to extend my sincerest apologies for the offense my post has caused. Yours truly Elisabeth.”
Despite von Thurn Und Taxis’ apology, many continue to flood her feed with hateful messages. “You’re a horrible person and I hope you lose your job. Have a great day,” run_webb_run wrote. But it has also sparked a larger conversation surrounding Fashion Weeks in general around the world. For weeks, millions of dollars are flooded into cities strictly for conspicuous consumption purposes. Fashion’s a fantasy world that indulges the rich while others live on the street just around the corner from Lincoln Center or the Grand Palais. In 2012, three editors posed for a street style photographer in front a homeless man at Moynihan Station in Manhattan and received similar flack for their obliviousness. Here’s hoping von Thurn Und Taxis’ social media mess up gives the fashion pack pause. We could all use a little perspective.