Fashion brands such as Burberry, Celine, and Gucci have posted messages pledging solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after several luxury stores suffered looting in recent days in Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles.
Gucci reposted a poem by writer Cleo Wade on Instagram about how to end racism and bigotry, while Prada uploaded a statement claiming to be outraged and saddened by the injustices facing the black community.
By voicing solidarity with the Black community, many people feel that brands are trying to gain credibility and are attempting to avoid the risk of appearing crass following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Several of them are still trying to live down racial controversies they sparked in the past.
Last year, Gucci apologized for a sweater resembling blackface images, and in 2018, Prada removed figurines from window displays after they were called out for a resemblance to racist caricatures.
Celebrity Fashion Stylist, Jason Bolden, whose clients are Serena Williams, Lupita Nyong'o, Taraji P. Henson, and Ava Duvernay questioned luxury brand, Celine and their BLM post because they have a history of not lending to him.
Burberry apologized for a noose-like hoodie sweatshirt, and Tommy Hilfiger made comments over a decade ago claiming to not make his clothing for Black people.
Although Barney’s is now closed, they have had several lawsuits for racial discrimination and online retailer, Moda Operandi barely has Black models on their site and former employees have accused the company of micro-aggressions.
Luxury brands have been guilty of both overt and covert racism for years, and we’ve always been very forgiving. This time around, consumers seem to be fed up. It’s not okay to love Black culture when it is convenient.
Nielsen reports that African Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually, so it’s time for brands to respect our lives the way they respect our dollar.
See 9 luxury brands who have been called out for hypocrisy in supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Chanel has been repeatedly accused of racially profiling Black customers and last year they hired a white woman as head of their "diversity and inclusion" department.
Gucci has a complicated history with the Black community, stemming from them all but trying to destroy Dapper Dan's business only to hire him two decades later. Most recently they came under fire for releasing a sweater that had suspiciously Blackface elements and stealing designs from Black designers.
Prada has a similar history and they recently had to apologize after releasing a collection of monkey key chains.
Dior's most recent fragrance campaign came under fire for racist undertones but a Black Hollywood stylist also gave BET.com an account of an incident that she had with a brand. The stylist requests to remain anonymous says, "they compromised our creative relationship by not following through on requests and instead loaning looks that were promised to me to white actors instead."
Celine's branding is notoriously extremely thin and extremely white. A quick scroll of their social media will reveal exactly their opinion on Black lives.
Before going bankrupt, Barney's had to pay out a settlement in a racial discrimination case of $525k to two plantiffs.
A former employee of the company released this thread on Moda Operandi, citing several micro aggressions she suffered there.
Burberry issued an apology after releasing a sweater featuring a noose motif.
In 1996, Tommy Hilfiger famously made comments against the Black community and has since clarified what he meant, but the hurt in the community lingers.