Since she started appearing on the arm of Prince William, fashion magazines around the world have hungered for a cover featuring the Duchess of Cambridge.
No surprise there. Photos of Kate, 30, doing everything from walking her dog to going about her royal duties regularly sell out newspapers and magazines. But the stylish royal puts a high value on privacy, and she’s well-known for turning down feature requests.
With that in mind, one magazine took matters into its own hands and created its own Kate cover. Marie Claire South Africa’s August issue features Kate posing in an animal print dress by South African designer Clive Rundle – and looking strangely authentic doing it, given that she posed for no such photo.
How did Marie Claire do it? The magazine called on local illustrators to come up with their own versions of Kate posing for the magazine.
“Kate Middleton is, without a doubt, the world’s new style icon,” says Aspasia Karras, editor of Marie Claire South Africa, on the magazine’s website. “We have honored her with a fan-art tribute, dressing her up in clothes by South African designers and placing her in all sorts of fun, everyday situations.”
It's a bold move, but not all fans of the magazine were enthusiastic about the cover choice.
“I’m really disappointed with this month's cover and I am normally a huge fan of Marie Claire SA,” writes Nanette in the website's comments section. "If you don’t get a close look at the cover, it seems cheap and slightly odd-looking.”
Another reader, DSK, agreed, saying that she thinks "the cover is misleading to readers and of bad taste. One tends to wonder if the editor was just after publicity."
While most of the comments were critical of the cover, reader Chantell said: "I love the cover and thought you guys did a pretty good job here."
The controversial cover also got The Huffington Post asking readers if it was "cool or creepy," with roughly 50 percent of its readers thinking it was definitely creepy.
It’s not the first time in recent weeks that a magazine has worked up an image of Kate for its cover. The New Republic magazine was heavily criticized for its July 12 cover, featuring Kate with a mouthful of rotting teeth, highlighting an article about “The Last Days of Britain.”
What do you think? Are you fan of Marie Claire South Africa magazine cover? Let us know in the comments section!