Last week, Donna Karan found herself at the center of a controversy when her latest ad campaign hit the internet, featuring an image of supermodel Adriana Lima, clad in Karan’s luxe womenswear, seated beside two Haitians, peculiarly obscured by shadows. The image sparked criticism for its strangely tone deaf juxtaposition of opulence and poverty (if not a more insidious juxtaposition of race) especially in light of Karan’s own work in Haiti.]
In response to the controversy, a spokesperson from Karan has issued the following statement:
It is well known that Donna has been deeply involved in supporting and bringing awareness to Haiti since the earthquake. Through her personal experiences there, Haiti was a natural inspiration for the Spring 2012 collection. The intent of the ad campaign is to celebrate the culture and creativity of the people of Haiti.
The statement doesn’t actually address the criticism itself, so much as deflect with a reminder of Karan’s charity work. We are, however, still unclear on how the image celebrates Haitian culture.
We’re quite curious to know how you guys feel: