Horrible Examples Of Racism In Fashion: From Blackface To Afriluxe

Last week, FHM Philippines pulled their racist March cover starring a light-skinned woman flanked by dark-skinned women accompanied by the headline, “Stepping out of the shadows.” Not that we expect much of FHM, we still thought to ourselves, “How is this kind of shit still happening?” and then we couldn’t help but be reminded of a certain Interview spread starring Daria Werbowy.

…And then we remembered a more recent Donna Karan campaign, purporting to be by Haiti/for Haiti but starring light-skinned supermodel Adriana Lima and a few impoverished Haitian teenagers literally in the shadows…. which then reminded us of Michael Kors‘ rich-white-people-romanticizing-Africa collection–terribly named “Afriluxe”–and its corresponding campaign, which then reminded us… you get the idea. The question is, when will this stop happening? Surely we all agree this stuff is flat-out racist? …Right?

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    • Katie

      I hate to admit it, but there are a lot of editorials here I didn’t realize were racist when I first read them. But seeing them all together, you get this gross impression of 1) obvious racism all over and 2) subtlier forms, like making an entire editorial be about how the main (white) model’s skin color is SO DIFFERENT from the “black everybody else.”

    • Dani

      I agree that most of these are racist but I still don’t see anything wrong with the LeBron/Gisele cover.

      • Frise

        And I don’t see anything racist about the Interview spread with Daria. This is all leftist internet oversensitivity.

      • superjack

        Going to ignore that “leftist” bit and stay on topic: just because the black people being portrayed here don’t have bones through their noses or are dressed like YSL for Mammy doesn’t mean that the imagery isn’t steeped racism.

      • Britta

        “YSL for Mammy” so horrible, so true and I lol’ed hard.

    • Loren

      Jean Paul Goude shot those Naomi Campbell Harper’s Bazaar photos. He also shot all the iconic photos of Grace Jones. I think it’s safe to say he’s not a racist.

      • Puff


      • BeccaTheCyborg

        You really have to learn the difference between a non-sequitur and a proof that someone’s not racist.

    • Sarah

      Can we just all agree to stop making pictures that focus on white models with shadows full of black people behind them?

      Seriously??! I can’t even

    • gemma

      that isabel-lucas-wearing-thousands-of-dollars-in-designer-clothes-among-the-aborigines shoot made my blood boil when it came out.

    • Sophia

      I hate how EVERYTHING is considered racist in the US no matter how far fetched this assumption is. Sure there are some of the pictures that are racist but really all of them? The ad featuring Naomi is racist because she is shown as fast and strong and sexy besides a cheetah? Not sure. I think that racism is a big problem everywhere in the world but we should not exaggerate.

      • kit

        And I hate you!

        Comparing a black woman to a wild animal–especially A JUNGLE CAT–is racist. Shut up. Sit down. You are wrong.

      • Poetre

        I’m black and the one with Naomi running with the cheetah in Africa was okay. The one with Lebron could be considered racist, but a lot of white women are turned on by it. The rest were just stupid and caters to stupid people.

    • Stanley

      click on the link to sign this petition, we are trying get the GMA T.V. station to stop putting these shows that makes black people’s skin the punch line of their joke! They paint babies black with paint then laugh at them. http://www.change.org/petitions/gma-stop-insulting-darker-people-with-racist-black-face-shows