05/15/2015 03:46 pm ET Updated May 15, 2015

Stefano Tonchi, W Magazine Editor-in-Chief: We're 'Still Paying' For Putting Kim Kardashian On The Cover

W Magazine was met with criticism when it featured Kim Kardashian on the cover all the way back in 2011, but according to Editor-In-Chief Stefano Tonchi, the scrutiny still hasn't ended.

"When we put Kim Kardashian on the cover of W Magazine, that was quite risky and somehow I'm still paying for it," he told HuffPost Live in a Wednesday conversation to promote the magazine's annual Art issue.

The cover in question featured Kardashian nude and spray painted silver, which readers complained was "very provocative but really something very lowbrow. Too commercial," Tonchi recounted.

"They talked about W [Magazine] as something much more society," he recalled of the naysayers. "But what is the new society? Let's see who was on the list at the MET [Ball]: She was!"

Tonchi continues to defend the magazine's choice to make the ubiquitous reality star its cover girl.

"Kim Kardashian was a work of art because she really built herself in a way -- creating this mythology around herself and her family and creating an empire around it, as we know," he explained. "And that empire now, is the Kardashian empire."

Watch more from Stefano Tonchi's conversation with HuffPost Live here.

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