A few weeks ago a Dutch magazine, Jackie, caused controversy by leading with a headline “Niggerbitch” in an article about the Barbados born American music star Rihanna. The thrust of that article revolved around stereotypes of how African Americans see fashion. This week French Elle Magazine, followed unashamedly spewing out the same stereotypical theme, except this time the subject was Michelle Obama.
This is a quote from the article: “For the first time, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged [only] to its street wear codes.” The writer continues, “But if in 2012 the “black-geoisie” has integrated all the white codes [of fashion], they [do so not] literally. [There] is always a classic twist, with a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a ‘créole de rappeur’) reminiscent [of] the roots. It [has] shifted, [it is] new, desirable, powerful.”
Elle Magazine is pretty formidable in the world of fashion. That surprisingly does not immune it from ignorance. To list a plethora of African Americans as examples of “non-street” wear fashionistas will be doing a disservice to Michelle Obama. Instead feel free to follow the discussions and comments below (video).