Clearly the folks who cast today’s Valentino show were not privy to the recent outrage surrounding Taylor Swift’s latest music video, which featured a white-washed Africa, or the ongoing outrage surrounding the white-washing of runways everywhere, because they went ahead and put the Africa-inspired collection on an army of white models.
The backlash, while entirely appropriate, was painfully predictable. It’s baffling that someone, anyone, at the fashion house couldn’t predict how the world would react to a collection inspired by “wild, tribal Africa” (tribal? Seriously?) worn by a gaggle of white girls with fashion-y canerows. It’s particularly unfortunate given that the clothes themselves (which with their feathers and delicate beading offered an inventive take on the utterly played-out notion of tribalism if I’ve ever seen one) were quite beautiful. Needless to say, no one is talking about the clothes, save for the tribal mask adorned purses.
Oh, Valentino, what are you doing with the West African masks on your purse and everybody in canerows. No. #PFWSS16
— Akilah (@akilamantado) October 6, 2015
Valentino has responded by posting a picture of one of the only black models featured on Instagram. Bravo.