While it seemed like most people were talking about he numerous incidents of black people dying because of police brutality, the fashion industry’s main concern was…couture shows. I watched on Twitter and on Instagram as people posted away about the Fendi show at the Trevi Fountain, but stayed quiet about what was going on with black lives on American soil. I wasn’t surprised by the lack of posts because this is something that the fashion industry tends to do when concerning issues facing black lives. Fashion week is more important I guess.
It seems some people in the fashion world live in their own bubble, where the news of blacks dying can’t penetrate. Even certain magazines who pride themselves in talking about feminism and social justice, have not done one post dedicated to any of the people killed last week. Popular fashion magazines such as Vogue didn’t utter a word, however Teen Vogue spent days tweeting and instagramming about black lives matter and police brutality. Fashion may not seem related to the lives of black people, but it sure connects to black culture.
There have been several instances where certain fashion shows have been accused of cultural appropriation. From having models wear dreadlocks and clothes inspired from Africa, fashion doesn’t waste an opportunity to incorporate black culture. What they lack is the amount of black models they use for their productions. Most of the time it’s majority white men and women with braids in their hair while rocking Caribbean clothing.
— 2progressive4u (@2progressive4u) June 29, 2015
Tommy Hilfiger goes Jamaican! What do you think of his latest Jamaican inspired pieces from his NYFW presentation? pic.twitter.com/C4cNavm4ly
— NationalWeekly (@NationalWeekly) September 17, 2015
Designers are known to appropriate black culture when they don’t make their clothing for black consumers. They only care about their clothing being worn for their white customers and modeled by only white men and women. If fashion companies are going to make money off of black people then they should show respect for black lives. There are black designers, black models, and black fashion editors who are heavily known in the industry. Fashion isn’t an all-white industry.
The fashion industry can’t ignore the turmoil that black people are going through in America. They should be asking what they can do to help instead of pretending like couture shows are the biggest concern right now. Instead of working so hard to copy black culture, the fashion industry needs to work on showing black people that they do matter.