James Baldwin once said, "To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage." As a black woman, I couldn't agree more. So after witnessing several racially charged fashion "accidents" take place over the past month, you can imagine how it felt to see that Burberry has followed suit. But this time, it was much different. Instead of wondering how a brand could be so clueless, how it didn't see backlash coming, I wondered if and why it chose this route to garner publicity.
Sending a literal noose down the runway wasn't a mistake. It felt intentional, calculated even — and it was done with the intention of capitalizing off the anger of black people. The black dollar and black Twitter are two of the most powerful things in the world, and instead of relying on creating quality clothing (we can talk about the demise of the fashion industry another day), brands have resorted to demoralizing tactics to generate headlines.
We see you, and your time is up.
It's Black History Month, and European brands have made it a point to troll people of color at every given chance during international Fashion Weeks.
Common sense would hope that after the backlash of Gucci and Moncler earlier this month, brands would be hyper-sensitive. But instead they've done the opposite, making it their mission to capitalize off black anger and publicly taunt us, our history, and our culture.
Burberry, under the creative direction of Riccardo Tisci, is the latest to join the ranks of tone-deaf, blatantly racist brands that just don't get it. Or better yet, do they?
In the meantime, don't forget to black.
There are countless black fashion designers out there who are far more deserving of our coins. If European brands can't appreciate the black dollar, we'll take it elsewhere.