Slavery was one of the greatest perversions of human rights that has ever happened in modern history–and it continues to leave deep scars, even today. So, needless to say, using the term to describe a trend, or fashion accessory, is well, just plain wrong.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what has happened. Last night, Jezebel reported that Vogue Italia posted a feature entitled “Slave Earrings” on their website. The piece features a runway shot of a woman wearing oversized hoop earrings and suggested several earrings in the same style, describing them as classic “slave and creole styles.”
Vogue Italia has already changed the features title to “Ethnic earrings,” in a quick exercise in backpedalling. However, it’s equally frightening that the high fashion magazine, would find the two words–slave and ethnic–interchangeable.
Even worse, Vogue Italia has kept the original copy that ran with the piece, ruling out any sort of translation misstep: “If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the late 18th century, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.”