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Posted under: Opinion News

7 Times Black Folks Were Disrespected By Fashion Brands

Designer brands double down on disrespect

It appears that every so often, and even more so recently, fashion brands have blatantly disrespected black folks with racist-type clothing.

And it’s not like they haven’t gotten the memo. As lore has it, disrespecting Black folks is automatic cause for clapback and the Blacklash for these brands has been real. 

After Gucci’s recent blackface sweater debacle, even the most socially inept person might feel greenlighting noose hoodies was not a good idea. For many, Burberry's ode to “marine theme” had poor timing, showed insensitivity to suicide and was interpreted as racially distasteful. Such is plausible considering millions of Africans were lynched by noose and did commit suicide at sea during the Middle Passage: 

Though these insidious design choices may feel oh-so current, fashion brands are actually notorious for dissing the black community. Here are seven times black folks were disrespected by fashion brands:

1. That time H&M should've done better. 

People went apeshit last year when H&M featured a black boy wearing a hoodie that read: "I’m the coolest monkey in the jungle." The image sparked mass outrage and protests. 

2. That time Montcler should've done better. 

Moncler was called out in 2016 for selling a jacket with an image they claim reflected "Malfi the Penguin" -- but all most folks saw was another incident of blackface. Do better. 

3. That time Prada should've done better.  

Prada released their Golliwog collectibles in December -- and Black folks were like #GTFOHWTBS. The items were called out for being outrageously offensive. Now, the brand has launched a diversity council to avoid making egregious moves like this again.  

4. That time Marc Jacobs should've done better.  

The high-end designer had white models rip the runway with faux locs for his 2016 NYFW show. Folks went HAM on social media and Jacobs pushed back with some course words of his own, stating:

“[To] all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin colour wearing their hair in any particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticise women of colour for straightening their hair,” according to The Guardian.

SIR. 

5. That time Vogue Brazil should've done better.  

Donata Meirelles, the director of Vogue Brazil, was wild for recently being accused of having a slave-themed birthday to celebrate her 50th birthday. She clowned her way out of a job with this racist stunt. Sad.

6. That time D&G should've done better.  

Slave sandals was an odd name for such a poppin’ sandal. Whomever titled this product must have been under the influence, or knew exactly what they were doing and didn't care. 

7. That time Gucci should've done better by Dapper Dan. 


Back in the day, Dapper Dan redesigned high-end fashion using silk screened knock off material.His Harlem store was raided and he was charged with counterfeiting the designer brands. The irony of appropriation struck decades later, when Gucci creative director and designer Alessandro Michele returned an appropriated slight by copying a Dapper Dan classic Louis Vuitton jacket made for Olympian Diane Dixon in 1989, for their runway show in 2016. Social media erupted in outrage, which lead to Dapper Dan partnering with the brand.

Liking this content? Check these out:

Man Behind ‘Pale Face Turtleneck' Explains Creating The Blackest Clapback To Gucci's Blackface Sweater

Burberry Attempted To Make A Noose Fashion At London Fashion Week And Is Now 'So Deeply Sorry'

Gucci's CEO And Creative Director Speak Out On Blackface Controversy, Admit To ‘Cultural Ignorance’

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Ida Harris is a current News Editor for Blavity. She is a native New Yorker, sowing seeds in Atlanta. She is savvy with standard English, but poetic with Black Vernacular. She's been known to f*ck up some Oxford commas. When she is not reciting Trap music quotables, she’s writing for The Root, Elle, USA TODAY, DAME magazine and MyBrownBaby. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Word2MUVA column.