There has never been a more lit time to be Black. Instances of #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy continue to dominate the internet and it would seem like melanin is finally being celebrated. However, the fight for representation in fashion is still a long and hard road, fraught with antiquated ideals of people who maybe have never seen these hashtags.
A couple weeks ago, Gucci released a watch campaign comprised of memes to mixed reviews. Part of the discourse in the meme-making community was if the people who cashed in on Gucci sold out. And also, since most memes are jokes, the idea of being on the inside of the joke, essentially canceling it, is somewhat corny and antithetical. But that was so last week for Gucci.
Today, Gucci has revealed a new ad campaign and it features only Black models. This is something we want to see more of in fashion, but it's still necessary to clarify the reasons why the ads don't work. The images are beautiful and reminiscent of the disco era (Gucci's been on this wave for a minute) but raise the question of exploitation, something Twitter users picked up on immediately.
Until fashion brings more sincerity to these fleeting sentiments — involving POCs in the creative process, actively working to appeal to POCs — the half-hearted efforts will continue to fall flat in the eyes of the people they are trying to appeal to.
We appreciate the effort, Gucci. Try again next time.
(Photo: Gucci via Twitter)