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Naomi Campbell And Other Fashion Authorities Slam ELLE Germany For Their Offensive ‘Black Is Back’ Cover Story

Instagram account Diet Prada has become somewhat of an authority in fashion when it comes to holding brands, designers, magazines, and editors accountable for their work —they’ve turned into the industry’s ‘Fashion Police’ if you will. Whether they’re calling out retail giants for plagiarism or spilling the tea on celebs’ copy-cat lewks, Diet Prada has gained notoriety and sparked a lot of controversy in Fashion. Well this week, the famous Instagram page put Elle Germany on the spot for their failed, deeply offensive attempt to highlight ethnic diversity. And the attempt was truly baffling.

Diet Prada has become known for calling out fashion’s biggest mishaps —and this one is definitely making it to the top 5. 

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☕️???? #blackisback

A post shared by Janaye (@iam_janaye) on

Whether it’s spilling the tea on trivial fashion matters or calling out Dolce & Gabbana for their distasteful chopsticks ad last year, Diet Prada never shies away from shining a light on the inner workings and missteps of the industry. This week, the infamous DP called out ELLE Germany for a problematic fashion feature that ran in the magazine’s November 2019 issue —and as the model Janaye Furman posted on her IG, the tea is boiling.

ELLE Germany’s November issue ran the coverline ‘Black is back’, as if being black is a trend that circles in and out of fashion. 

credit Instagram @diet_prada

DP posted a photo of ELLE Germany to its Instagram page, highlighting a feature titled “Black Is Back.” The phrase seems to be the running theme of the entire issue, mostly referring to the color in terms of clothing, but clearly the editors of Elle Germany decided they’d just fold some human beings into the trend. 

The magazine highlighted 6 models of color with the title ‘Black is Back’ -like the color of a human being’s skin could be a trend.

credit Instagram @diet_prada

The article spotlights six prominent models of color with the caption, “Super, Girls!” Diet Prada wrote, “Not a good look, @ellegermany. […] Ironic when they, along with much of the fashion industry, have been complicit in denying visibility to black models until relatively recently.” 

The magazine couldn’t even keep those human beings straight, the story misidentified one black woman for another.

credit Instagram @diet_prada

And it doesn’t end there, in addition to the article’s insensitive title. ELLE Germany also misidentified one of the models with another woman of color —SMDH. Diet Prada showed that a photo of Naomi Chin Wing was used in model Janaye Furman’s spot. As if “Black Is Back” wasn’t bad enough, the publication somehow confused one black woman for another.

Prominent fashion editors of color weighed in on the matter by sharing their thoughts on Instagram.

credit Instagram @gabriellak_j

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, fashion director at Garage magazine, also took to Instagram to weigh in on the situation, saying, “So, this means that no fewer than four people read the name Janaye Furman, and saw a picture of Naomi Chin Wing and not one spotted the error…those editors responsible for this story do not care enough about it to give it the same attention they would give any other story in the magazine. Or, those editors responsible of this story cannot tell the difference between two black models.”

 “I am horrified, but I am not surprised,” Gabriella added.

credit Instagram @gabriellak_j

The fashion editor even went as far as to explain the editorial process from pitch to print, and the many opportunities the publication had to fix the mistake. Many Instagram users jumped into the comments section in shock, including some notable celebrities and fashion authorities. Model Maya Stepper commented, on Diet Prada’s post; “this is sad,” while the iconic fashion blogger BryanBoy added, “Good intention but poor execution”; creator Donte Colley wrote, “what the actual f*ck…”

The iconic Supermodel Naomi Campbell also joined in on the campaign against ELLE Germany.

In an Instagram post, supermodel Naomi Campbell shared her own thoughts on the issue at hand: “This makes me so sad to see this…your mistake[,] it is highly insulting in every way.” She continued, “I’ve said countless of times[,] we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It’s OK to celebrate models of color[,] but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way.”

Naomi made a point to express her willingness to sit down and talk if people are not “clear on the guidelines of diversity” and that misidentifying a black model is “disappointing.” She finished off her post by saying, “It’s very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive and give credit where it’s due. We all need to unite on this matter.”

“The issue, titled ‘Back to Black,’ also features a white model on the cover. You can’t make this stuff up!” said Diet Prada.

credit Instagram @diet_prada

But hold on, there’s more! To make things even worse, the issue features a thin, white model on the cover —as is pretty much always the case with Elle Germany, a magazine that clearly has no interest in hiring black models and only features them in its pages when it fits a trend. 

Elle Germany Editor-In-Chief shared a weak apology statement on the matter.

credit Instagram @ellegermany

In response to Diet Prada’s post, ELLE Germany editor in chief Sabine Nedelchev shared a statement on Instagram saying: “In our current issue we approach the colour black from different angles. One of our focuses was to feature strong black women who work as fashion models. In doing so, we were guilty of several errors for which we sincerely apologize.”

“It was wrong to use the cover line ‘Back to black’ which could be misconstrued to mean that black individuals are some sort of fashion trend,” the statement continued. “This obviously was not our intention and we regret not being more sensitive to the possible misinterpretations. Misidentifying the model Naomi Chin Wing as Janaye Furman is a further error for which we apologize. We are aware of how problematic this is. This has definitely been a learning experience for us and, again, we deeply regret any harm or hurt we have unwittingly caused.”

The tone-deaf issue is another case of the how-did-multiple-people-see-this-and-think-it-was-ok mystery for the books. And another step backward for genuine inclusivity in the fashion industry. We can’t help but wonder if this would’ve happened had the publication actually put their money where their mouth is and employed people of color to begin with. How’s that for real inclusivity?

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

CBS Television Distribution

Back in the 90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry were experiencing the height of their fame while on the hit show “Sister, Sister.” The series which followed Tia and Tamera as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell saw two actors play the part of two identical twins separated at birth and then accidentally reunited in their teens. It won several Emmys and Kids’ Choice Awards and cemented itself as essential Black TV. As a result, the twin sisters scored roles on other series, movies, and all kinds of media attention. And not for a lack of racist incidents that attempted to hold them back

Recently, Tia opened up about her experience as a Black teen actor in the 90s and shared a story that clearly still hurts her heart.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Tia shared that she and her sister were once rejected from appearing in a teen magazine cover because of their skin color.

Speaking about the incident, Tia recalled how she’d been subjected to racism when she was a teen on the show and attempting to be on the cover of a popular magazine at the time.

“It was around Sister, Sister days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — Friends around that time,” Tia said. “So, my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time — it was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

The actress teared up as she went onto recall that “Here I am as an adult and, wow, it still affects me, how someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin,” she said. “I will never forget that. I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that isn’t right.”

Years later Tia says she has used that moment to drive her in raising her two children.

Tia (who is a mother to Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2) says that “to this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful.”

“What I’ve done with my children is [reading] books,” she explained to People. “You can read incredible books to your children about Rosa Parks, about Martin Luther King Jr. — pivotal people that had a huge impact within the movement.”

“The other thing is through television, especially during this time,” she went onto explain. “I was just having my children watch a whole bunch of [things] that starred a lot of African American actors, and one of them is [TheWiz. You had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. It was just such a great story. And my son … he loved it, [and] it’s important.”

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New Poll Finds That Young Latino Voters Consider “Racial and Ethnic Social Equality” the Most Important Issue This Election

Things That Matter

New Poll Finds That Young Latino Voters Consider “Racial and Ethnic Social Equality” the Most Important Issue This Election

In a poll of  638 young Latino voters, aged 18-34, conducted by BuzzFeed News in conjunction with Telemundo, the results found that the most pressing topics on the minds of young Latino voters was “racial and ethnic social equality”–an issue that 62.7% of the demographic considers the most urgent this election. And that’s not all.

The illuminating survey revealed that 55.8% of young Latino voters had participated someway in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

They expressed their support through physically demonstrating on the streets or other forms of activism like donating or boycotting. According to their responses, it was the fervor and intensity of the Black Lives Matter movement that has fueled their fire to vote. 

Although 60% of young Latino voters have committed to voting for Biden, 19% still say they will support President Trump come November. This response is surprising to some, considering that President Trump is almost universally considered the most anti-Hispanic, anti-immigration U.S. President in recent history. 

via Getty Images

While the passion and social activism of young Latinos is exciting, the lack of enthusiasm for Presidential candidate Joe Biden is cause for concern.

After all, as Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, put it in a New York Times opinion piece: “There is no route to the White House without the support of Latinos.” 

The poll also revealed Latinos’ overwhelming belief that there is no unifying political figure in the Latino community. When asked to name a politician who “goes out of their way to support their community,” the leading response was “Nobody”. Participants then listed Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez as second choices, each politician gaining 6% of the participants’ votes. 

“It’s heartbreaking,” said executive director of the group Alliance for Youth Action, Sarah Audelo, to NBC News.

We can’t have so many young Latinos disconnected from the process because they don’t feel part of it.”

Ramos described the tiresome election-year scramble to secure the Latino vote through cringey attempts at speaking Spanish and dropping in on Latino community events as “Christopher Columbus syndrome”. “It’s such an open and flagrant display of opportunism,” he wrote.

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