Azalea Banks Rails Against Dolce & Gabbanna’s Racist Collection
By Lora Neng
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
October 22, 2012
The ire of Azalea Banks was inflamed this time not by a fellow emcee, but by the Italian fashion design company Dolce & Gabbanna. D&G debuted their summer 2013 collection of Carribbean dresses in vibrant polychrome nominally in tribute to their Sicilian colonial past, which did go through a period of popularizing exotic African imagery, but the earrings shaped as Blackamoor busts in this day and age proved too insensitive to Banks’ liking.
The collection was criticized for perpetuating “Mammy” characters and for its resemblance to Aunt Jemima dolls, which romanticized slavery in the tradition of pandering minstrel shows, while others conceded that its reference to trade between Italy and the North African continent are well in line with the country’s decorative Blackamoor figure history. Although fashion may be considered rather innocuous compared to other forms of disseminating cultural imagery, the fact that the runway show did not feature any African American models became the most controversial point of the line’s debut.
Banks tweeted, “whoever designed that racist ass collection deserves a swift kick in the mouth” and declared that she would be boycotting the company.
Tags: Azalea Banks, Blackamoor, Dolce & Gabbanna, fashion, Jim Crow, racist