Critics are lobbing charges of whitewashing and cultural appropriation against Vogue, joining the rampant online criticism of the magazine for colourism and tokenism in its already maligned March issue. 

The latest volume of the fashion monthly, billed as a "diversity" issue, is being blasted anew for a photo spread in which white supermodel Karlie Kloss is styled to invoke a Japanese geisha. 

Kloss apologized for her participation in the shoot, which spread and drew widespread criticism rapidly online Tuesday after images were shared from the new issue. 

Many questioned why the magazine — which included a Chinese model on its cover for the very first time with this March issue — wouldn't have simply hired a Japanese (or even more generally an Asian) model for that particular photo spread. 

Whitewashing of Asian figures has been in the news of late, including in prominent Hollywood productions. Meanwhile, instances of cultural insensitivity and appropriation, from the fashion and entertainment industries to college Halloween parties, have also regularly raised a furor online.

Diversity cover blasted

Anger over the geisha-inspired spread comes just days after Vogue earned social media wrath for the March issue's cover image featuring a clutch of currently popular young models.

Promoting the cover, the magazine drew from an accompanying article about a broadening definition of beauty as "a seismic social shift: the new beauty norm is no norm."

However, people soon pointed out that while hailing from different ethnicities, the women featured all have similar complexions and are nearly all the same body type. 

Others noted that the lone plus-size model included appears clothed and posed slightly differently than the others, with some accusing the magazine of digitally editing the image to make her appear thinner.

For her part, the model in question, Ashley Graham, responded to a fan via Instagram that she was not instructed to pose a certain way.