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File this one under: What were people thinking?
For Tory Burch's "#ToryStory: An American Roadtrip" campaign, Giovanna Battaglia directed a short clip, set to Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion Mccall's "Juju on That Beat." Poppy Delevingne leads two models in a version of the dance challenge that went viral last fall, even lip-synching along. The clip seems to be playing as an ad before YouTube videos, and viewers are not having it. "this played before another video. I came here just to dislike before the analytics were turned off 😂 [sic]," read one. "I've seen some horrible advertisements recently... but this one is so bad I had to come to the video and say something," begins another.
Tory Burch joins a long line of fashion brands trying to monetize the zeitgeist, from Gucci's recent meme campaign to Philipp Plein's "Alice in Ghettoland" runway to this season's pierced nail trend. The problem — other than the fact that this video is about six months late for the viral moment — is that it features a wealthy, thin white woman in an ad directed by a wealthy, thin white woman for a fashion brand run by a wealthy, thin white woman which capitalizes on a craze that originated in the black community. In other words, this is a pretty egregious example of a fashion brand being a "culture vulture" and co-opting a trend for financial gain without giving any credit to the origin source. (Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion Mccall do not even get a mention anywhere in the video's credits.)
Or, as one YouTube commenter put it, "No. Hell no."
UPDATE, Wed., Mar. 22, 1:40 p.m.: Teen Vogue reports that Tory Burch has issued an apology via online comment, though the platform — YouTube or Twitter — was not specified. "I personally feel badly if this hurt anyone, and I'm truly sorry," wrote Burch. The comment was quickly deleted after it was posted.
UPDATE, Thurs., Mar. 23, 10:00 a.m.: Since this story went live, Tory Burch has removed the video from her site. The brand also requested the longer version be removed from Elle Malaysia's YouTube channel.
UPDATE, Fri., Mar. 24, 1:45 p.m.: Tory Burch has issued a statement of apology to Vogue UK, telling the site, "The video was intended to celebrate music that we love with our spring collection. It was never meant to be insensitive in any way. We have removed the video from our channels. I personally feel very badly if this hurt anyone and I am truly sorry."
Homepage photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images