A Slap in the Blackface: Fashion’s Open Racism

IN today’s social and political climate it blows my mind how top brands/designers such a Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Moncler, etc. have the nerve to try to profit off of Blackface.

The invention of blackface occurred in the 1830s, when marginalized whites felt rejected by their affluent counterparts thus bringing to life minstrel shows. During the shows white actors would imitate/mimick enslaved Africans. These performances stereotyped blacks as lazy, ignorant, hypersexual, and criminal. One of the most well-known minstrel characters to date is Jim Crow played by Thomas Dartmouth rice and is the origin name for Jim Crow laws.


Clearly, there is a lack of cultural and ethnic diversity within these brands, letting us know these products are not meant for us. Which sparks the question, why do we keep buying from them? From where I’m standing the only reason we insist on purchasing these brands is for clout, giving the perception that black people can be bought. How are we ever supposed to prosper if something as little as clothing and clout can deter us.

Which brings us to “cancel culture”. 🗣CAN WE PLEASE STOP CANCELING PEOPLE AND FLEX THE POWER OF THE BLACK DOLLAR! I have a baby heart attack every time I see a “cancel Kanye” post, but 🗣YOU WALK AROUND WITH YEEZY’S ON. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, “miss me with that bullshit 👏🏾👏🏾. ” Instead, we should pull our support from these brands, whether it be through money, music, or outrage (because black outrage is the new marketing strategy). This includes the umbrella corporations that own them. For example, Kering (ironically enough, pronounced caring) owns Gucci, as well as Sant Laurent (YSL), Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, etc. (so stop buying/supporting ALL of them). Let’s start throwing our support behind black designers such as Pyer MossTolu CokerCushnieetc., only then will we see change.


Pyer Moss

Tolu Coker


Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments & check out more black designers found here!