Did you know that before the Obamas, black fashionable style did not exist…well according to French Elle’s website writer Nathalie Dolivo, this is unarguably the case. Just on the heels of the recent Rihanna fiasco with Dutch magazine Jackie’s article “N*GGAB*TCH”, it seems that Dolivo with her article “Black Fashion Power” has taken the lead in pigeon holding the style of an entire race, by precipitating stereotypes and insults that are unbelievable difficult to digest. Ignorance in its highest regard Dolivo states:
“Black style” are solely to the Obamas’ sartorial influence: “For the first time, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged [only] to its street wear codes.” Now if this was not enough Dolivo further continues in stating:
“But if in 2012 the “black-geoisie” has integrated all the white codes [of fashion], they [do so not] literally. [There] is always a classic twist, with a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a ‘créole de rappeur’) reminiscent [of] the roots. It [has] shifted, [it is] new, desirable, powerful.”
Yes, not only did the Harlem renaissance dissipate into thin air and all style outside of street wear after the Obama era are attributed to the code of white dress, we then have made it our own by tweaking it with ethnic references “reminiscent of our roots”. WHAT!!! Of course these tweaks are amazing staples of style but to peg an entire race of making a style their own through afro-centricity, and then continuing the madness by validating the codes of white dress as influencing all style other than street wear, is not only the most far-fetched and ridiculous accusations I have heard spewed within the fashion industry, but one of the most amusing and ridiculous ones as well.
Anyone of any ethnicity knows style like love is colorblind and to continue enforcing stereotypes of this nature belittles and weakens an industry that many look for as a source of inspiration. Since Dolivo’s article on French Elle’s website was publicized, you can only imagine the outrage and flack her now infamous statements have been receiving. Unfortunately bad press in this case is not good press since the reality is that Dolivo’s statements will naturally be affiliated with French Elle’s name. Of course one writer cannot be attributed to the thoughts of all writers and editors affiliated with French Elle Magazine but it would make sense with past racial blunders regarding black style, that an official moderator needs to be appointed for websites and blogs of large fashion house publications and if a moderator has already been appointed then needless to say a change (as in issuing of some pink slips) needs to be taken into effect immediately! There is absolutely no excuse for incompetence of this nature, even if the statements were insinuated in a ”complimentary” manner as some media forums are arguing. The impact of ignorance is not depleted in any way even if spewed in sweet, lullaby tones. As of yesterday the article was removed but an official apology has not been issued.
When ignorance regarding style, ethnicity or anything for that matter rears its ugly head this is the sign of not being educated on your history and/or the history of others. Knowledge leaves no room for error and abolishes ignorance into oblivion.
What are your thoughts?