I will start off this blog post by saying, the opinions said in this post are just that, my opinions and in no way is anyone required to feel the way I feel. I respect all views. So with that being said, lets get to it. If you frequent any social media apps or sites then I'm sure you've seen all the recent uproar about Gucci's "attempt" at a new design. If not, here's the brief ( and I do mean brief) backstory. So basically, Gucci released a sweater design that featured what we know as blackface (racist, derogatory "representation" of black people, the black image with the big red lips) and celebrities and everyday Joes' and Janets' are outraged. This display is yet another example of how big brands, in a sense do what they want in regards to black culture and the lack of respect for it (refer to Moncler and Prada blackface articles).
T.I and other celebrities have made a call to action encouraging African American consumers to turn to their fellow brethren (and sisters) and shop black owned. Now this is definitely encouraging to a brand like LoveGaloree, because it is, of course, a black owned brand. BUT the problem I have with this call to action is that it takes a bigger brand to disrespect one of us to decide that we need to support our own. Make it make sense!. A lot of black businesses, surely not all, are struggling to get seen and into the hands of celebrities and everyday people without much support or even a glance in their direction. So when Gucci decides to pass a design through the chain of command and multiple hands and sell it, we in turn use the black brands as a back up option. "Oh no, this is the last straw, let me now go support my brother or sister that has their own business". It comes off as if we are a second option after a break up, essentially the rebound chick.
My opinion and issue is that those same brands didn't have to ask their caucasian counterparts to support them or make hashtags like #shopwhitebrands. But I can type on Instagram right now and multiple hashtags will pop up encouraging African Americans or minorities to shop black/minority brands. It should be automatic to shop black brands just because and not just for Black History Month, Black Friday or a special holiday. I do get what T.I and others are trying to promote but my question is why now? Gucci hasn't been getting too many coins frm the everyday working man, because have you seen those prices lately?! How most of our bills, children and expenses are set up, our accounts are basically like "Nah, brah". So that call to action is kinda mostly directed right back at those same celebs that are usually drippin' from head to toe in Gucci, Prada, Louis and don't get me started on Fendi (I'm talking Fendi headband, shirt, belt, socks,pants, shoes, AND bag all on at one time, OVERKILL).
In a nutshell, let's make a conscious effort to support Black brands just because they have good content, items and deserve support. Support them because you understand the struggle. Support them because a lot of them support you. Just support. No one wants to be a rebound or a second option. I am Naomi Durant-Lyons and Thanks for coming to my TedTalk. *steps away from podium*
Leave a comment, let's start a dialogue.