Fashion Stands in Solidarity of Racism + 5 Black Designers to Choose Instead
Every week there is new outrage towards a brand who has a product or advertisement that screams racism. Every week, in reaction, one of the most powerful communities of the internet, Black Twitter calls for a boycott. Every week, we rinse and repeat the phenomenon. It’s not unique to the Fashion industry but as we know, the Fashion industry has a history of keeping people of color, especially blacks out of their inner circle.
Black people have and always will be used as a reference and commodity for the fashion industry. We’re only at the table for creative partnerships that will give the brand our cutting-edge cool -- think Virgil Abloh or when its time to have diversity on a runway.
After the H&M stunt, in 2018, it seems like high fashion took note and designed products that specifically target African Americans through symbols that reflect hate. The irony is that this is all taking place during the most divisive political climate in recent history. Fashion houses, including Burberry, Gucci, Moncler, Prada, and Kate Spade -- for now have all shown us that their products are not for us and they do not want us buying.
The latest offense by Burberry at London’s Fashion Week was problematic for more reason than one. The designer just HAD to add a Noose to its otherwise basic hoodie.
One - Fashion imitates art and culture so it’s repeatedly offensive that brands think people will believe these stunts are created due to ignorance and a simple apology or signing of a public figure of color will right the wrong. Is bringing on Ava DuVernay on to Prada’s D&I Board of Advisors enough to diversify the industry? Why did they result to Hollywood instead of hiring someone already in the fashion industry?
Two and Three - The model spoke up before going onto the runway and was ignored. The model was told her personal concerns did not matter. When is this voluntary servitude attitude in the fashion industry going to be over? Why are models still expected to give up their voice? Also, her personal concern was due to her relationship with someone who committed suicide. Granted, people use rope to commit suicide but NOOSES WERE ARE USED TO LYNCH BLACK PEOPLE.
The industry isn’t going to stop. The public outcry serves as PR and unfortunately, some brands think any PR is good PR. So it’s time we listen to the CLEAR message and start to invest in black fashion. Trust me, they’ll just whitewash the styles anyway for their target consumer. Here are 5 Brands to try instead: