Azealia Banks Boycotts Dolce Gabbana For Racist Mammie Imagery
Azealia Banks, hip-hop artist and fashion designer Alexander Wang model, says she is boycotting the “Dolce & Gabbana” designer collection for being racist in nature.
As soon as the up-and-coming rapper found out about the controversial fashion line, she became outraged, saying the new items were racist and reminiscent of Jim Crow imagery.
She then expressed her disgust and voiced plans to boycott the luxury fashion house, posting on Twitter:
“Definitely boycotting Dolce & Gabanna… I really hate when people do corny, racist things then try to justify it as ‘art.’ It’s all just really unnecessary. The clothes in the collection were fine without all the “black mammie” imagery.”
Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2013 collection was controversial the moment it hit the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week in September, thanks to the designers’ repeated use of Blackamoor-inspired and imperialist imagery.
Last month, D&G was featured in Vogue news after its accessories were seen as offensive by many. The models wore earrings featuring black women carrying food on their heads in baskets, which was associated with historical “mammy” imagery and slavery.
The label released the following statement on its website:
“The show jewelry is reminiscent of ornate ceramics that often appear in Sicilian homes, restaurants and hotels. The head is inspired by traditional Moorish people, a term used to describe the Medieval Muslim inhabitants of Sicily — a place that consistently inspires Dolce & Gabbana designs and the native country of Domenico Dolce. Traditionally, the heads are then covered with an Italian tin glaze that gives a shiny finish and painted in vibrant colors to symbolize stories and legends from Sicilian towns.”
It’s arguable as to whether Dolce & Gabbana’s “Blackamoor” images sent down the Spring 2013 runway were racist in nature, but Azealia Banks has clearly taken offense to them.
While many D&G devotees are willing to overlook to the problematic racial implications of the collection, there’s at least one celebrity who has taken a stand against cultural appropriation and exploitation.