W Magazine Cover Photoshop ‘Fail’ Was Intentional

Digital artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin confuse the masses.

When our Lunch columnist Diane Clehane sat down a few weeks ago with W magazine editor in chief Stefano Tonchi, he teased that the cover of the 10th Anniversary Art Issue would feature “two women who together have more than 100 million followers on social media.” That cover is now here and many of those followers have been focusing on an element they perceived to be missing.


What happened to Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid’s knees, fans wondered? The media soon picked up on the idea that the anatomical feature had been accidentally removed. But it turns out it was intentional, part of a cheeky nod from the pair who worked from the photo taken by Jason Kibbler. One of the few in the media who got it right was Yahoo Style writer Hayley Fitzpatrick:

It’s important to into take account that the magazine’s project, dubbed “placebo pets,” is the brainchild of renowned digital artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin. Within the artistic spread, the models are purposely digitally altered and morphed into humanoid creatures. Although the cover lacks the distinct editing that’s obvious in other shots, it’s hard to believe that such a mistake could have been overlooked. It’s likely part of the artist’s vision for the project.

A spokesperson for W chimes in post-publication at the bottom of a BuzzFeed screed, explaining: “The images of Kendall and Gigi are part of a project by artists Fitch and Trecartin, who are known for their deliberate use of digital technology, combining distortions with makeup and prosthetics.” Check out more photos from the Jenner-Hadid cover story here.