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28-09-2012
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sometimes its like americans are so full of themselves that the minute they see a black person they immediatley think african american, racism and slavery... those images resemble more the caribbean and say brazil than anything else. people might find them in poor taste but talking racism is a bit much imo... they don´t seem to be portraying suffering, more like party and festive attire, at least I appreciate them as that but maybe that´s cause I´m latin american. I still find them ugly though from a fashion pov.

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28-09-2012
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Ugh, I hate getting involved in this type of discussions but, aside from wanting to say that no one has been hanged on trees solely for their exotic looks, I see a couple of 'problems' here:

1. It's symbolism that one specific culture is sensitive to. The way African-Americans were depicted for years in popular culture a white population founded, consumed and used as a vehicle to make fun or justify racist assumptions. The image may not say anything to Sicilians (or me for that matter), yet the brand is not for Sicilians only, it is marketed to American consumers, in a probably wrong scale of comparison, this is as stupid as making yet another collection of gimmicks with a 'spirituality' theme and adding a couple of swastikas and sell it in Western countries. You don't do that, even if you're deeply ignorant, you probably have a couple of American employees that help your business get across that may hint at the potential offense.

2. The fact that a figure with a traditional way of dressing and highlighted features is offensive is another issue on its own that speaks for perhaps a problematic strategy to eradicate racism in the United States. I'm no one to criticise, not an expert in US history, I know no one except for the US and Brazil have faced this challenge and.. it's 9 am, don't shoot, I just think that, when you have government papers that ask people to check their race for whatever reason (stats, ethical work, you name it), perhaps it would be a good idea to be equally "open" in culture assimilation and consider integrating and fomenting familiarization on the appearance and attire of that entire diverse group your own identity is composed from, helping your population feel like it belongs to them even if they don't necessarily share racial background, it isn't just 'heritage' of 'that' black community, or 'white' people tradition, it happened in the US, so it's US heritage, whether it was used for vile purposes in the past is another issue but I feel it's a longer struggle to pretend such imagery never happened or that it's 'untouchable' imagery no one should get near of ever again in order to overcome certain issues instead of just embracing it. It is a stereotype, but stereotypes are not only synonyms of discrimination and in traditional dressing, they frequently have elements of an existing lifestyle that's worth knowing.. and it's important to get past the fact that the stereotype did not make the history but policies supported at times by a population that did not feel responsible or related to a group.. which brings me back to the 'what racial group do you belong to?' question (an entire debate for another day). I know there's also the BIG fact that one's a minority and the other doesn't, which turns my suggestion into a problem, but I still think it's an approach to culture integration that's healthier instead of exclusion of elements, highlighting differences, taboo instead of direct talk, popularizing a simplistic version of 'culture appropriation', feeling like taking elements traditional of another race is politically incorrect, etc. Finally I'm not up for ridiculing but this is where the government intervenes, on managing such 'openness', because, open topic or taboo, guess what, it still gets ridiculed! and the ridicule only makes it awkward enough not to want to discuss it again, which ends up in more distance among groups.

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Last edited by MulletProof; 28-09-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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28-09-2012
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I'm not even surprised by the apologists claiming people are too sensitive or that this is only a problem in the US. DG might have had Italy in mind when designing this collection but they are selling it to the WORLD! Slavery and the oppression of black people did not just happen in the US (as if there isn't a massive racism problem in europe ). It happened in the majority of the world. That racism produced stereotypes of black people that closely resemble those horrid earrings. Its a huge problem as evidenced by the fact that we (racial minorities) have to constantly remind certain groups of people of things they never have to worry about. I'm seriously offended by this and some of the more flippant comments.

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28-09-2012
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Obviously the guys are not racist but the earrings are in bad taste. They seem to have really lost their touch IMO the earrings were hardly the only awful thing they displayed

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28-09-2012
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How can this be anything but racist and disrespectful? Yes, people can be unfamiliar with the history behind it but that doesn't make it any less racist.

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28-09-2012
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the whole collection was a scandal haha

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28-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickadee View Post
I find it dismissive and diminishing whenever people say somebody is being "hyper-sensitive" as if they shouldn't feel what they're feeling. It seems to me decidedly insensitive to reduce an involuntary emotional response to illegitimacy because you personally don't find it offensive or because it's culturally acceptable in one place. Don't misunderstand, I'm not calling you as a person insensitive Tiancouture, but maybe consider the other side's perspective just a little bit more. This may be alright in Sicily, but I have a hard time finding the pictures on this model's shirt totally innocuous.

*Do not quote images, please*
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The exaggerated lips and nose? Come on. The bottom line is this theme was a bad idea. They knew, they had to know--unless D&G has begun hiring five-year-olds to work for them--that some people would not respond well to this and might provoke some type of controversy. I almost wonder if they wanted controversy. I just find it hard to believe it never crossed their mind with all their American clients. Sicilian-inspired or not, somebody had to at least wonder, if only briefly, that this might not go over well particularly in regions with a history of slavery or black oppression, even beyond America. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, hell, what about Britain with all its African immigrants? My point is they are not blameless. I just don't buy this as some honest mistake that people are blowing out of proportion.


Again, my opinion is that society has become hypersensitive in regard to minor issues that really shouldn’t be given much attention. This would be one of those times, noted yet again, based on my opinion. There are significantly more important things going on in the world that people should be hypersensitive about. The fact that there was Blackamoor art in a Dolce and Gabbana collection doesn’t seem to qualify as something to get up in arms about. Google image “Blackamoor” and you see gobs of jewelry and art, some modern, some not. Does that mean it should be destroyed and discredited as a form of expression, art and culture? Of course not. So why such flack for D&G?

People are “entitled” to feel however they want, as are you and I. I really don’t think there is a message behind this. I find it hard to imagine that D&G thought to themselves, “You know what, we don’t like Blackamoor culture. Let’s toss it in our collection and piss some people off.” I’m sorry, I just don’t believe that. Could their PR team have perhaps been a little tighter, a little stricter? Possibly…but any press is good press, as cliché and untrue as that is…

And as I side note, I fully acknowledge that fact that people are offended by this and potentially by what I have said. That is my intent. Fashion is objective. I believe we can all agree to disagree, even if there is more disagreement. Discord is a good thing…

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Last edited by MulletProof; 28-09-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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29-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokobombon View Post
sometimes its like americans are so full of themselves that the minute they see a black person they immediatley think african american, racism and slavery... those images resemble more the caribbean and say brazil than anything else. people might find them in poor taste but talking racism is a bit much imo... they don´t seem to be portraying suffering, more like party and festive attire, at least I appreciate them as that but maybe that´s cause I´m latin american. I still find them ugly though from a fashion pov.
Whether Americans are full of themselves or not, that seems a little ad hominem. Just a bit

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30-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TianCouture View Post
“You know what, we don’t like Blackamoor culture. Let’s toss it in our collection and piss some people off.” I’m sorry, I just don’t believe that. Could their PR team have perhaps been a little tighter, a little stricter? Possibly…but any press is good press, as cliché and untrue as that is…

And as I side note, I fully acknowledge that fact that people are offended by this and potentially by what I have said. That is my intent. Fashion is objective. I believe we can all agree to disagree, even if there is more disagreement. Discord is a good thing…

I hope you don't mind, but the part I bolded seems a bit wrong. I think by including it in there collections D&G are saying they like Blackmore jewelry. That they deem it appropriate enough for women to buy. And that women should want to wear this stuff. It is all about creating desirability, potential buyers should feel like a garment/jewelry piece will add something special to their life. Why else would designers include a certain motif in collections? They do have to make sales off of the collection, after all.

If we are not upset or just behave passively we make it okay for this sort of thing to happen again. By saying that "it's a non-issue" it remains okay to alienate a group of people and to turn them into a stereotype. And of course if you look at past fashion collections, styles, and fads there have been items with racist connotations. It would be silly to deny that part of fashion history. One thing I've thought about is that some people have cited past Blackmore jewelry collections as possible reasons not to get in a tizzy about this current scandal. Obviously, these (old) jewelry pieces shouldn't be destroyed, they are part of history, but maybe by acknowledging that it's problematic and not including it in future designs it is possible to change things.

It seems strange to me that some reactions to D&G's current collection are so blasé. Fashion may seem at times microcosmic but it can also be a reflection of the wider world. And if, say a very well known label creates racist earrings, then it just makes it easier for other area's to tolerate racism too.

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