Call The Glambulance: Vogue Italia Explores “Rapper Style,” Says It Started with Michael Jordan
Franca Sozzani…God bless her heart. She clearly is a fan of black culture from the Vogue Italia black issue to her salute to Black Beauty. But criticism just follows every piece on black style she publishes for the magazine. Recently, folks were in an uproar over her Haute Mess editorial that many perceived as racist (I thought it was in poor taste and maybe a bit classist — as I’ve seen people of all races dress that way, but that’s not the point) and remember Slave Earrings? Yeah. Now, on the Vogue IT website, they’re exploring “Rapper Style.”
The article, written by Selene Oliva, starts out by saying that rapper style emerged in the 90s with Michael Jordan’s Nike commercial:
Rapper style is making a comeback next season; it was launched in the 90s with basketball champion Michael Jordan appearing in commercials for Nike. Since then rappers have invaded the world with their hits proposing not only their sound but also their style.
I’m laughing out loud typing this. Is Mike a rapper now? I must have missed that album. And his Dad jeans are not launching any kind of trend.
They go on to say “pants should never be tight-fitting, see those sported by Jay-Z.” I guess that means Kanye West and Lil Wayne are completely out of style then.
And then, for accessories, they offer fur, sunglasses, totes and golden necklaces. Oh and throw on a glitter sweatshirt for good measure. I’m pretty sure glitter is the distinct opposite of whatever “rapper style” is:
The details: black sneakers embellished with stones, by Lanvin, and the top-handles handbag in neon yellow and fuchsia PVC on a black background. Or the minimalist engraved leather hold-all with silver zips, by Alexander McQueen.
They also suggest a hooded sweatshirt, which is particularly distressing when one considers the Trayvon Martin case and the apparent association between hoodies and thugs. Athletes wear hoodies, right? And college students? I even throw one on to stay cold or comfy while running errands. But according to Vogue Italia, it’s a part of any rapper’s uniform. Sigh.
We can now add this Rapper’s Style article to the growing list of offensive pieces on black style. We saw Jackie Magazine make a mockery of Rihanna using racial slurs and Elle France wrote that all black women “ditched street style and embraced white codes of dress” thanks to Michelle Obama. The prevalence of these articles is really worrying me as mainstream magazines seem all too willing to pontificate about what black people wear with no true understanding of our varied style or culture.
What do you think of Vogue Italia’s rapper style article? How can we ensure pieces like this are no longer published?