A fashion campaign by Marni featuring black models styled with ethnic accessories has been widely criticized as racist.
The Italian luxury brand quickly came under fire when it posted the photos on its official Instagram account with the caption “jungle mood.”
Outed by cancel culture duo Diet Prada, who criticized Marni’s unfortunate combination of reductive imagery and terrible choice of words, said: “These stereotypes are just some of the ways the institution of white supremacy has oppressed, dehumanized, and deprived Black people of their human rights.”
Marni responded with a public apology, stating: “The team at Marni is passionately committed to championing inclusivity and celebrating the beauty of diverse cultures throughout the world. As we endeavor to create a more equitable world, through fashion and shared humanity, we sincerely regret that our efforts caused further pain.”
We have immediately removed these images and we are redoubling our efforts to ensure our processes are carried out with thoughtfulness and intentionality through a strong equity lens. Our entire staff is committed to using this moment as an opportunity to leverage our platform to support and empower more voices and creators of color whose talent and insights are instrumental in creating a more inclusive and diverse fashion industry.”
In an interview with MJournal, the campaign’s Afro-Brazilian photographer Edgar Azevedo said he was not involved in the editing process and did not see the final campaign prior to release. “Initially, the products from Marni were meant to be shot along with some models here in Salvador, but as the pandemic hit us, the pieces ended up not arriving in time for the shoot, which originated the idea of making collages with the pieces on the images we would produce.”
“They ended choosing the images, retouching it, and finishing the process without sending me anything,” Azevedo said.
Image by Edgar Azevedo via MJournal; article sources: Dazed Digital, MJournal