They say it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. These sad corporate “I’m sorries” have become far too commonplace when it comes to racially discriminatory, derogatory or offensive fashion advertisements. I have a very difficult time believing that the higher-ups in these luxury companies are so ignorant about the history of racism, and racial discrimination in America that they could approve the ads. Anyone can tell from the heightened racially motivated hate crimes that our country has a deeply disturbing racial history. And just as fashion has a cycle where things re-emerge, the racial propaganda is re-emerging in the very fashion brands that are associated with high society. Therefore, I have concluded that these are marketing campaigns that the higher-ups have chosen to move forward by asking for forgiveness rather than permission. But the question is why would these brands continue racial stereotypes and pathologies related to Black people. As of lately, there have been horrendous choices from the display of Anastacia the Brazilian slave woman on the runway on a white model in Adriana Degreas runway show to the black face on the white model in the recent Gucci ad.
It is sad that the apology is enough – and that no real work has to be done. I wonder if this is because African Americans affected by these ads are not the demographic population that these brands care about.
Everyone who knows me, knows that I write about fashion on the side in order to take a break from the regular work that I do on race and racism in the education setting, but I could not let this one pass. I am disappointed in Gucci, Prada, H&M, Starbucks (not fashion related but still). I am certain that these brands could not care less about my disappointment in them. I guess that makes us even because I could not care less about their apologies. Get it right!
See the Change.org write up about Anastacia https://www.change.org/p/adriana-degreas-adriana-degreas-racist-potrayal-of-black-slaves-in-her-runway-fashion-show/u/13617560