Faux-navajo panties were one thing. Faux-ironic rice paddy hats another. Those were examples of big brands appropriating stuff they probably shouldn’t have. This, on the other hand–the latest act of poor taste from lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret–take things to a new level. Like, Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s levels. Rather, like Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s but wearing a push-up bra and knee pads.
According to Racialicious, Victoria’s Secret has a new collection called Go East (though all reference to this monumentally bad idea have been scrubbed from the site), which beckons the wearer to “Indulge in touches of Eastern delight.” Above is one look from the collection: the “Sexy Little Geisha” as worn on the terminally Photoshopped Candice Swanepoel, described thusly: “Your ticket to an exotic adventure: a sexy mesh teddy with flirty cutouts and Eastern-inspired florals. Sexy little fantasies, there’s one for every sexy you.” And yes, in case you can’t make it out, she’s holding a fan and wearing chopsticks* in her hair.
We’re guessing Victoria’s Secret will issue an apology and pull the collection entirely–or just deny it–but we’re actually still skeptical that this is real. It seems impossible that, in 2012, a major brand like Victoria’s Secret would release a sexy racist caricature and sell it for $100 in malls across America. So we’re actually hoping it’s a hoax.
*They are actually described as “hair chopsticks” in the product description.