German Designer Calls Milan Fashion Week Show ‘Alice in Ghettoland’

German Designer Calls Milan Fashion Week Show ‘Alice in Ghettoland’

Philipp Plein uses Fat Joe, Fergie and Paris Hilton to parody Black culture.

Published September 22, 2016

Perhaps German designer Philipp Plein wasn’t paying attention last week when Marc Jacobs got his edges snatched clean off for using dreadlocks in his Spring 2017 show at NYFW. But in a particularly unexpected turn of events, last night, we saw something wildly different from his Milan Fashion Week show using only black models 3 years ago

Yeah. He went there.

Dripping with cultural insensitivity, glaring racial stereotypes and not to mention dated late '90s/early 2000s urban fashion, the show was more spectacle than art. Of course, the music du jour was hip-hop, with lots of it blaring in the background, even featuring performances from Fat Joe and Fergie — more on that later. First, let's take a look at what the residents of "Ghettoland" wear as they go about their days. 

No lie, we like the boots.

Did you peep the "pimp" gnome?

Welcome to #AliceInGhettoLand world #PhilippPlein #SS17

A photo posted by PHILIPP PLEIN (@philipppleininternational) on



Speaking of old school, one model got her Radio Raheem on with “a bejeweled boom box” and even former reality star Paris Hilton strutted down the runway during the show, Vogue noted. The grand finale, though, featured singer Fergie walking hand in hand with Plein and Fat Joe rapping in a white drop-top convertible. Guess they both think "Ghettoland" is a cool place to be. 

Next season, Plein will be showing in New York City.

“I want to say thank you for the big support, this is my last show in Milan. We’re going to move the show to New York. NYC, are you ready?” he asked the crowd.

While we totally get that fashion is all about self-expression and taking risks, for Mr. Plein, this seems to be a twisted fantasy of Black life reflected cartoonishly to a largely European audience and these kind of stereotypes are dangerous to promote. We take minimal issue with the clothing and styling but deeming it "Ghettoland" is far and beyond offensive. I don't need to delve into the linguistic history of that word for you to understand how detrimental it is, especially used in this context.

Given the serious political and racial climate here in the U.S., Plein should be asking if you’re “ready for us?” Because be clear: Black Twitter has dragged people for a heck of a lot less.


Written by Kellee Terrell

(Photos from top: Swan Gallet/WWD/REX/Shutterstock, PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock)


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