Category: Essays & Opinion

Essays & Opinion

Moving Beyond Performance: When Brand Allyship Goes Wrong

“While fashion brands may feel that making statements or donating money is sufficient, they need to reflect deeper on how they participate in the same injustice and oppression that they speak out against.” Zari Alyssa Taylor considers performative allyship through the example of Guess and Telfar Global.

Reframing European Luxury: The Exclusivity of the Black American Brand Ambassador

From Willow Smith and Rihanna to Zoe Kravitz and Zendaya, the number of Black American women appointed as ambassadors of French and Italian historical couture brands has been growing since the 2010s. But surprisingly, predominantly African American women are selected to embody this European heritage all over the world while local French and Italian Black women are nowhere to be seen in these elitist spaces.

The Racist Underbelly of Instagram Moodboards

As many fashion brands begin to shift their messaging to be more diverse and inclusive, niche communities are forming around the images of the past. Nostalgia marketing is becoming ubiquitous within the industry. Kathryn C. considers how the form of the Instagram moodboard is aestheticizing problematic elements of the past under the guise of “good taste.”

The Transorientalist Nature of the Blue-and-White Porcelain Aesthetic

The aesthetic of blue-and-white porcelain, when used by Western designers, is often perceived as a form of neo-chinoiserie that appropriates and bastardizes porcelain in a form of colonial power. The appeal and celebration of Chinese cultural identity in these items suggest that they align better with the history of China and its visual traditions. However, this is a notion that should be challenged.

The Problem with All-Black Castings

Diversity should be made intrinsic to a brand’s ethos and an ongoing conversation, not just an aesthetic, after which ads and campaigns go back to lily-white casting once calls for diversity have been quelled.

Fashion as Armor

The need to wear a face mask, a now vital accessory to shield ourselves and others for the purpose of public health, is the newest phase and symbol of fashion’s intimate relationship to our bodies and lives.

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