Of all the fashion trends that came and went this year, including 1980s shoulders, 1990s grunge and all things Meghan Markle, perhaps the most unrelenting was the prevalence of cultural missteps. They happened high, they happened low, they happened almost every season.
Instead of getting better, it seems as if the offenses are getting worse. Just consider the fact that the year began with a monkey problem and ended with a blackface brouhaha. (Not the Megyn Kelly one.)
I kid you not.
The second week of January, H&M got in trouble for an advertisement featuring a young black boy in a green hoodie inscribed with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” Charges of racism flew. The Weeknd cut ties with the company and announced it on Twitter. There were protests in South Africa, and stores were temporarily closed. H&M pulled the ad and apologized.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
Then, last week, Prada was pilloried for its decision to include in its Pradamalia collection, a menagerie of quirky bag charms that look like cartoony sci-fi animals, one that resembled nothing so much as a Little Black Sambo figure, complete with giant puffy red lips — and to fill the windows of its SoHo store with said imagery.
A lawyer, Chinyere Ezie, who works at the Center for Constitutional Rights, was “stopped in her tracks” while walking by the store, snapped some pictures and called the company out