The dust had barely settled from the scandal created by a Dutch magazine’s comments on Rihanna and a writer at French Elle has already put her foot in it.
Writing on black fashion trends Nathalie Dolivo commented that, “For the first time, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged [only] to its streetwear codes.”
She went on to credit Michelle Obama for inspiring the change and coined the term “black-goisie” to describe a new class of black people who have appropriate white styles (read sophisticated) of dress but still represent their roots with “bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a ‘creole de rappeur’) reminiscent [of] the roots. It [has] shifted, [it is] new, desirable, powerful.”
Sheesh! Mrs O just cannot catch a break. And which editor okayed this stuff?
A group of black celebrities and fashion power players, including Noemie Lenoir, have penned an open letter to French Elle blaming structural racism for the magazine’s freedom to make such comments. They also implore the mag to hire more black staff and feature black covergirls.
With its offensive commentary on everything from poverty to race, fashion is betraying a desperate need to catch up and connect with the rest of the world. The industry’s disconnect from social realities and responsibilities is attracting more and more disdain as incidents like this continue to take place.