For every step forward Vogue Italia and Franca Sozzani take — spotlighting black and plus-sized models, speaking out against pro-anorexia websites — they seem to take quite a few steps back. Like, for example, declaring “slave earrings” an important trend.
Posted to the magazine’s website, the feature went undetected for a couple of weeks until Jezebel noticed the offensive item subtitled “Hoop earrings: a classic always in evolution”. The title has since changed from “Slave earrings” to “Ethnic earrings”, which is in no way better, especially consdiering the accompanying text:
Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the creole styles in gold hoops.
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. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on.
It used to read “slave and creole styles” in the first paragraph, but that bit has since been edited out. The original version also had “slave trade” in place of “late 18th century” in the second paragraph. Alas, clearly the people over at the mag don’t understand exactly what is so offensive about the whole thing, given they left everything else in. Yikes. This isn’t the first time an egregious faux pas has turned up on the site. Sozzani made a “30 pieces of silver” reference in her defense of John Galliano, though that post has also since been edited.
Here is a screenshot of the site as it appears now: