Home Fashion Why is this Donna Karan ad being called racist?

Why is this Donna Karan ad being called racist?


Oops here comes a maelstrom of controversy courtesy of the latest Donna Karan ad staring super model Adriana Lima. The ad has apparently stirred commentary that it has racist/imperialistic vibes which acts to unsettle the images captured by famed photographer, Russell James of Victoria’s Secret fame.

fashiongonerogue: While Adriana looks fierce and mybe a bit too fierce the other people in the picture looks sort of scared. I get from the picture a not so sweet relationships between the white girl and the black people.

And the other black people? Which posits the first question did James mean to use the local Haitians as mere props or as adjuncts that contextualize the themes that the Donna Karan line aspires to. It is of note to mention that both Ms Karan and Mr James are avid supporters of the rights and heritage of indigenous tribes from Australia where Mr James heralds from initially It is also worth noting that Ms Karan has gone out of her way to donate time and money to the Haitian cause pursuant to the devastating earthquake of 2010 .

Then there’s the idea that perhaps readers are seeing too much in the picture and assuming because the main focus is on a white girl and the background on young Haitian boys that somehow they must be subservient to her. Really? What if the boys had been placed in the foreground, would the same comments of racial imperialism come into play?

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  • T-Bone

    I worked with Russell James before. He’s a complete self-absorbed douche.

  • Riski Martin

    Of course this would still be offensive. It has nothing to do with background/foreground or even race. It has to do with trying to pony up $800 flats (not to mention the rest of the wardrobe) in a country where a 14 year old girl dies because she cannot afford a $15 injection. It’s simply tasteless. Haiti IS THE POOREST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD by all measures, and high fashion is not a priority for anyone there (except wealthy foreigners on vacation).

  • I wish the Haitians would stop exploiting Brazilian supermodels to showcase their vibrant spirit.