Bella Hadid pledges to donate Fashion Week earnings to Ukraine and Palestine

Supermodel Bella Hadid has joined her sister Gigi in donating her autumn/winter 2022 fashion Week earnings to humanitarian aid for people in Ukraine and Palestine.

In a post to Instagram this week, Hadid shared several photographs of herself dressed in Ukraine’s national colours and the Palestinian keffiyeh, a patterned scarf which has become a symbol of Palestinian solidarity.

The UN Refugee Agency estimates that more than two million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homeland since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of the country on 24 February.

The attack has been condemned by world leaders as “unprovoked and unjustifiable”, with the UK, US, EU and others imposing sanctions on Russia.

In a lengthy caption accompanying the Instagram post, Hadid said the invasion of Ukraine and its impact on her Ukrainian friends and colleagues had been a “very emotional and humbling experience”.

“To watch my Ukrainian friends and colleagues working hard here in Europe, so close but so far from their families/friends/homes in Ukraine who are experiencing one of many brutal occupations and invasions happening right now in the world is a very emotional and humbling experience for me,” she said.

“To hear their stories and emotions firsthand is devastating and I wholeheartedly stand with them in support. I stand alongside every person that has been affected by this war and the innocent people whose lives have been changed forever from the hands of ‘power’.

Hadid said she will be donating her earnings to organisations that are providing refuge and medical aid to displaced Ukrainians and Palestinian people.

“Our eyes and hearts must be open to all human injustice. May we all see each other as brothers and sisters, beyond politics, beyond race, beyond religion. At the end of the day, innocent lives pay for war- not leaders,” she added.

The 25-year-old, who has walked for the likes of Versace, Balenciaga and Coperni this year, said she had been inspired to donate her earnings by her elder sister Gigi and fellow model Mica Argañaraz.

Gigi previously pledged to donate her earnings from this season’s fashion shows “to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine”.

“Having a set fashion Month schedule has meant that my colleagues and I often present new fashion collections during heartbreaking and traumatic times in history,” she wrote on Instagram on 6 March.

“We don’t have control over most of our work schedules, but we would like to walk ‘for’ something.”

In the days following Gigi’s announcement, Vogue magazine faced backlash on social media after it edited out Gigi’s reference to Palestine when sharing the news.

The fashion magazine had initially shared the model’s full pledge to its official Instagram account but was accused of “fanning the flame of anti-Semitism”.

Social media users later noted that the original caption on Vogue’s Instagram post had been edited to remove the reference to Palestine, spurring criticisms from prominent figures.

Mehdi Hassan wrote on Twitter: “So @GiGiHadid pledges to donate her earnings from Fall 2022 to relief efforts for occupied Ukrainians *and* occupied Palestinians and then @voguemagazine magazine just erases the Palestinians from its @instagram post on her pledge?”

Bella and Gigi’s sister, Alana, also commented on the edited Instagram post, writing: “WOW, you removed Palestine. She is supporting both the crisis in Ukraine and Palestine. It’s a sad time when you can be bullied out of factual reporting.”

Vogue has since edited the caption for a second time to include Gigi’s reference to Palestine. An editor’s note on the post reads: “We have updated this caption to accurately reflect Gigi Hadid’s statement on her donation.”

The Independent has contacted Vogue for comment.

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