Racist On The Runway?: Dolce & Gabbana's Spring 2013 Collection Sparks Questions Of Cultural Insensitivity

Racism On The Runway?: Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2013 Collection Sparks Questions Of Cultural Insensitivity

Dolce & Gabbana has been under fire after editors and fashionistas began questioning the inspiration and cultural insensitivity behind the Italian fashion house’s Spring 2013 collection earrings. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna say that they were influenced by their native home, Sicily. Garments swept the runway in deep rogue, sand, yellow and ocean blue. Puffed sleeves and potato sack inspired pieces were also part of the collection. Patterns of suited up men armored with swords donned outfits, but other patterns didn’t go over so well.

One in particular portrayed a dark-skinned Black woman, head wrapped in a brightly colored turban and fair lips carrying a basket of fruit on her head- think a darker skinned Chiquita banana. Many of the earrings from the collection bore the same woman painted both black and white. Critiques claim the pattern and earrings are reminiscent of the controversial mammy archetype- an over-sized African woman enslaved or working as a servant.

Offensive or high fashion? Click through to see the controversial runway ensemble and weigh in below. 

Black Woman On Pattern

Photo: Getty Images

  • Renee Carter

    Here is the Solution: The Models of Color Shall Wear White Chick Heads on Their Ear Lobes and Clothing. Problem Solved. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

  • Thenji Maynard

    This is the ultimate in what analysts like bell hooks in critical cultural studies call “eating the other,” where the cultural encounter becomes a gluttonous feast on the marginalized, objectified, defeminized and oversexualized other. This is what happens when big profit-making corporations make decisions about projects such as this without the involvement of that “other” that exists only in their imagination.

  • the clothes and earring are hideous. The truth is that the eating the other is true and lets face it we black women are a tastey dish, best served stolen