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When Fashion & Racism Collide

When Fashion & Racism Collide

Racism has existed since the dawn of time, but now it seems racism has collided with the fashion industry. There was an article written that stated how white actors would paint their faces black (and some still do to this day) and exaggerate the lips as it has been stated that African Americans have big lips. This was the birth of blackface which started around the 1800’s. You would think in the day and age of social media companies would be more cognizant of the merchandise they release. Sadly, it is even easier to spread racism through fashion then ever before. From left to right, these are collections made by Moncler, Burberry, and Gucci. Moncler released it’s what has been called “blackface collection” in 2016. After tons of complaints and being dragged on Twitter Moncler decided to issue an apology on July 15, 2016 stating they were sorry for the offense based off of the character Malfi the penguin that is a charterer created by artist duo FriendsWithYou. Onto Burberry who released the above hoodie that has a noose around the neck. Once again black Twitter was not having this and not during black history month. After the runway show Burberry released the statement “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection. They immediately pulled the hoodie from being sold. Next Gucci’s blackface turtleneck. This turtleneck was introduced in Gucci’s 2018 fall winter show. Unbeknownst to me the sweater had been sold for almost a year before it started getting major attention. The turtleneck has been pulled and Gucci issued an apology, but this seems to be a trend. Release an insensitive product, give a half apology, and somehow see a spike in sales. I refuse to believe that companies are unaware of how insensitive they are coming across. I think it is all done in the name of getting publicity and as the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity. I know I refuse to give a company money that profits off of the pain and suffering of my ancestors.

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