London: Fashion magazine Vogue Italia has sparked a worldwide race row after it published an article comparing the currently worn hoop earrings to items of jewellery worn by ‘women of colour’ brought to the US during the slave trade.
The article ‘slave earrings’ that is criticized for being ‘overtly racist’, appeared on the Vogue Italia website and referred to the hooped gold styles as a ‘latest interpretation which is pure freedom,’ the Daily Mail reports.
“Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and Creole styles in gold hoops,” the article read.
“If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom,” it said.
Angry readers later mounted a campaign where followers could tweet Italian Vogue to register their anger against the feature.
“Ad agencies are clearly in dire need of consultation by Black Women and Men, as they routinely miss the mark in communicating with consumers,” the petition read.
“In this latest example by Vogue Magazine, we want the ad removed ‘immediately’ and we want a specific apology to Black women because Black womens`` supposed slave narratives were used in the promulgation of the ad,” it added.
After publishing the article Vogue Italia faced stinging worldwide criticism, the strongest of which claimed it was guilty of a ‘disgraceful’ attempt to ‘glamorise slavery’.
In the wake of the controversy, Vogue Italia have since changed the title of the offending article to ‘ethnic earrings’ from ‘slave earrings’.