• Wed, Sep 26 2012

Dolce & Gabbana Offers Racist Earrings For Spring 2013

Every time the fashion industry does something racist (and it happens pretty much all the time), we cover it and are inevitably shouted down by a chorus of smarter people who 1) all agree what racism is and 2) believe that [whatever X is] is, in fact, not racist. Moreover, every time we critisize someone or some brand for racism, we are called any number of names–usually along the lines of PC, stupid, or unfamiliar with words (“No, the Klan is racist,” which means that… that other stuff can’t be, we guess?). But our absolute favorite pseudo-argument is, “You’re racist for seeing it that way.” So, we’re cutting that off at the pass.

Because we are huge racists, we wanted to point out Dolce & Gabbana‘s new Spring 2013 earrings: busts of black women with exaggerated red lips, wearing bright turbans embellished with fruit (in the style of traditional blackamoors). We’ll let fellow racists Refinery29 take it away, “The luxury brand debuted a spring ’13 collection that rested heavily on the laurels of a long-lost colonial era, complete with all the cartoonish, debasing, subaltern imagery that would make even your politically incorrect Grandpa think twice.”

Though some of you will squabble about the difference between racism and tastelessness, we are of the opinion that fostering (and profiting off) negative ethnic stereotypes is racist. Especially in the context of a luxury brand owned by white men who’ve created a collection shown exclusively on white models, set against a nebulously “island” backdrop. But we could just be reading into it.

Also. Is this a step up or down from slave earrings?

(Photo via Wenn)

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  • MR

    Dolce & Gabbana’s profiteering is definately racist. African-American culture (for all the Americas, from Canada to Brazil and Ecuador) is full of artistic layers. I didn’t really get it, growing up passing in-and-out of inner city parts of Nyc. But it’s funny that younger African-American women throughout my career took me in. Yeah, it’s deep and not the least bit trendy. It comes from the Slavery that existed in all these places.

  • K

    A few things…

    1. Vogue’s “slave earrings” was on a whole different level of stupidity/tastelessness/racism/whatever you want to label it. That was BAD. They outwardly called them SLAVE EARRINGS for Pete’s Sake.

    2. Having Sicilian in my blood, should I be offended because of the pale, mustached men wearing armor (*with EXAGGERATED RED LIPS) printed on their dresses and bags? (Is this a bad time for me to say these caricatures look more French to me?) You always hear racism attributed to non-Caucasian things, and like in the example, there are “Blackamoors” alongside silly looking white men and only one side of the argument is being explored. And by one side of the argument, I mean the one side that the media is interested in bringing up. I read the Huff Post post on this topic and there were people of all colors with all different opinions in the comments.

    3. If it weren’t for this post, of the post about VS’s “Geisha” costume, or Paul Frank’s “Indian” post, I wouldn’t have Googled any of the lines in question and looked them over myself…therefor, they wouldn’t have gotten the page views from me, or from the hundreds of other people doing the exact same thing I did. Any publicity is good publicity for brands. I understand bringing up topics for the sake of discussing things you don’t agree with, but I can’t help but feel like The Gloss has just been pulling these ideas from RSS feeds.

    4. Lastly, The Gloss, where do YOU ladies draw the line? Am I racist because my dining room is done in a Japanese-inspired theme? I have beautiful pieces of Japanese landscapes painted by Japanese artists on the walls, decorative sake bottles filled with flowers, and topped off with kawaii-chibi-style kimono-wearing salt and pepper shaker ladies? Are moccasins racist? What about bomber jackets? What about those German get ups some women wear to Oktoberfest festivities?

    5. Ok, really lastly. In my opinion, the earrings look stupid and completely un-elegant and just when-the-hell would anybody choose to wear those? I bet they’re something like 3K, too. The faces (black and white) are weird. The more subtle men-riding-horses bags aren’t too bad, but the rest of the line’s patterns and colors are pretty cool.

    • Guest

      The German “get-ups” are dirndls, traditional female Bavarian dress. And men wear lederhosen. No one would fault you for wearing either, but they might for dismissing it as a “get up.”

  • Bo$$

    If i was dark skinned i would wear them cuz that would be cool and interesting, they do look funny on a white girl. But shit people are getting to sensitive these earings aren’t saying theres anything wrong with african people and yea they do play on a sterotype, not a very offensive one, like jews being cheap or arabs being terrorist are offensive stereotypes. Everyone obviously knows that not all black women wear fruit hats and have big red lips.
    Shut up ok just shut up cuz ur dismissing the real meaning of racism

    • Please.just.stop

      Wow…the image of the mammy is no very offensive? Ok. Why are black people always being told to stop being offended at offensive things? Good to know that the stereotype of Jews and Arabs is MORE offensive then the mammy. I have reset my offense-o-meter.

    • Tia

      You’re brainwashed by what white people tell you. If you know the true history of blackamoor mammies, you’d know how racist they truly are. They were a tactic used southerners to stop the north from ending slavery. They depicted black women as obedient, grotesque, savages that lacked the knowledge of humans. They were characatures poking fun at black features. Making black women undesirable. The stereotypes STILL eminate to this day because of blackamoors.

  • Margari

    Those earrings are deeply offensive and they play on imagery that has long justified the brutality against people of African descent in the Americas. This imagery is tied to slavery in North, South, Central America, and the Caribbean and colonization in Africa. This is not about African inspired, they could have used kinte cloth or some other print, but instead they use little black woman bobble heads on pale women of European descent as some kind of sick joke or statement about the exotic.

  • Abbie

    I love them !! They are so cool,bold and colorful for summertime or vacation. I don’t see them offensive in any way I see them as a compliment to any race. I guess if anyone is offended by these then they are not so sure of themselves . Love who you are God made no mistakes

  • anon

    is it racist to ask what “critisize” means?