Written by guest writer Tatyana Jenene @TatyanaJenene
I don’t understand…I don’t understand. New York, London, Milan and Paris are all gearing up for Fashion Week this September and one group is late and ignorant with one of their designs. On Easy2Dress’ website their slogan is “Unconventional T Shirts and Clothes.” Uncongenial is an understatement. I was strolling through Instagram and Tuff Magazine had the photo of Italian Blogger and Model Mariano Di Vaio wearing the Easy2Dress shirt that says “NIGGA 00.” It was a screenshot of Di Vaio’s Instagram account that he posted of him in the outfit and he had some BS quote about work hard, train hard or whatever. This image was posted to Di Vaio’s 1.9 million Instagram followers. Of course there were some disgusted by the image of the shirt, while others praised him. There were also some who defended him saying that he doesn’t understand the hurt or pain behind the word, so he should get a pass…
I now get some of Kanye’s rants about the fashion industry, he’s somewhere eating ice cream singing Solange’s “I Told You So.”
Easy2Dress also posted pics on their IG page and have yet to take them down, Di Vaio has removed all images but one. Here’s the thing, I’m not sure that many fashion blogs will report this because they’re worried about sponsors and Fashion Week show seats but in the words of the late great Maya Angelou “I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size.” This is ridiculous, Italy your fashion designers and models have to do better. This is the same place that a “Disco Africa” Halloween party that included famed fashion Allesandro Dell’Acqua covered in black face. Italy has a history of racism (goggle Cecile Kyenge) but yet rappers and fashion enthusiast are quick to give these Italian based designers their money.
I don’t want you to consider this a “think piece” this is me telling you to “stay woke.” The impressionable youth are following these rappers, saving up summer job money to buy an expensive belt out of a store that they will later get frisk or accused of stealing out of. The rappers are following other rappers just to fit in or look like the next big urban look, giving money to brands that don’t give a good damn about them. Have we learned nothing from the Tommy Hilfiger shenanigans of the 90s?! When is it all enough? I know some of you will defend this with “well if rappers can say nigga/niggas why should we be offended when a White person says it.” Or “why can we call White People “crackers” but they can’t say nigga” Consider this, the civil rights movement was only 40 years ago here in the United States, Italy at one point wouldn’t recognize Blacks there as citizens, whether they were born there or moved there. Italian football (soccer) player Mario Balotelli was called a “f*cking nigger” by Italian “fans” while practicing for the World Cup in Florence, Marissa Alexander allegedly fired a warning shot into a wall to fight off her abusive husband and is facing 60 years in prison, Daniel Pantaleo a NYPD cop who had a history of civil rights violation lawsuits filed against him, allegedly choked a Staten Island resident, Eric Garner to death and was only stripped of his gun and put on desk duty. Don’t be ignorant to the fact that some of our parents and grandparents put their lives in danger so that we can be more than “niggas,” YOU ARE NOT NIGGAS.
*steps off soapbox and wipes off skirt.
As I stated before the model took all but one pic down and Easy2Dress released a “statement” on their facebook page, but has yet to remove the image from Instagram.