If you’re in any way in the know about fashion + daily happenings in pop culture, you’ve probably heard about the Mira Duma x Ulyana Sergeenko scandal. Ulyana, a Russian designer, came under fire on Tuesday, when she sent Mira a bouquet of roses with a note attached saying ‘To my niggas in Paris.’ Mira, a fashion influencer & entrepreneur, posted a picture of of the the gift on her Instagram story to show her love & appreciation for her friend. I think it’s safe to assume she didn’t think this would backfire.
Realizing that she messed up, she deleted the post but not before a wave of negative comments started & screenshots taken. The post got the attention of many celebrities and influencers, from Naomi Campbell to Teen Vogue’s Phillip Picardi, who condemned the pair’s actions & careless use of speech not intended for them.
Rap music/hip-hop is not a trend, it’s culture. If you want to enjoy a song, great. But you should respect the culture and the human beings who create it — which includes not using racial slurs.
This isn’t an academic argument. It’s common sense. https://t.co/WhPAsxusS0
— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) January 23, 2018
Although the pair posted what many believe to be lack-luster apologies, the damage is already done & sheds light on the bigger issue of anti-blackness in the fashion community. This is in no way an isolated issue or incident. It should come as no surprise that the fashion industry still carries inconsiderate, under-educated & in some cases racist members. Black models struggling to book shows & shoots not for the urban look. Black designers & magazines not seen as on par with their non-black counterparts. Editors photoshopping models to look lighter. Brands putting insensitive slogans on t-shirts & hoodies.
It’s getting very exhausting as a black woman to explain why non-black people shouldn’t say the racial slur that was transformed to combat a term used to oppress us. Why should this be our responsibility?
Take some time to educate yourself. Having black friends, loving black culture, the word being in a song doesn’t give you a free pass. We have to learn to be sensitive to issues beyond our initial understanding & start actually listening.
How do you think white allies and the fashion industry in general can begin to be explicity anti-racist and better held accountable?