Oh, Vogue Italia. Yet again, the often-controversial, rarely sensitive glossy has taken on an American cultural movement that they don't really seem to understand. For today's "Trend of the day," web feature, they've taken on "Rapper Style," which they preface with the following introduction:
Rapper style is making a comeback next season; it was launched in the 90s with basketball champion Michael Jordan appearing in commercials for Nike.
Uhh what does that even mean? Rapper style was launched in the 90s because Michael Jordan was in a Nike commercial? Their advice for channeling rapper style includes wearing "low-slung pants" with a "glitter sweatshirt." "Pants should never be tight-fitting, see those sported by Jay-Z," they suggest. They recommend pairing those Jay-Z-inspired pants with a Michael Kors fur and Alexander McQueen purse.
I think the problem here is similar to the one that led to that 'Haute Mess' editorial and even last year's "slave earrings": European fashion people drawing inspiration from something distinctly American without really understanding or considering the implications of it--treating it as a novelty when there's actually more to it than they care to address. The result comes across as ignorant generalization. We get that Franca Sozzani likes to stir up a little controversy, but couldn't those "creative and extravagant" posts and editorials have a little more research behind them? Even their own "Vogue Encyclo" entry about Hip Hop and Fashion, which could have been written by anyone, is much more well-researched and informed.