Marni Issues Apology After Being Called Out for Racist Campaign
The problematic visuals have been taken down, while creative director Francesco Risso also posted a personal statement.
Earlier this week, Marni launched a campaign for its new range of flip-flops under an “ethnic” and “jungle”-focused theme, which was quick to be called out by many social media users including fashion watchdog Diet Prada. Following the backlash, the Italian brand has taken down the visuals and issued an apology via Instagram.
Shot by Afro-Brazilian photographer Edgar Azevedo, the campaign featured Black models wearing “ethnic” and “tribal” items like wooden Bayong necklaces and woven grass hats. One of the models was pictured with large chains wrapping his ankles.
Responding to the criticism, the label released the following statement:
“The team at Marni is passionately committed to championing inclusivity and celebrating the beauty of diverse cultures throughout the world. As we endeavor to create a more equitable world, through fashion and shared humanity, we sincerely regret that our efforts caused further pain. We have immediately removed these images and we are redoubling our efforts to ensure our processes are carried out with thoughtfulness and intentionality through a strong equity lens. Our entire staff is committed to using this moment as an opportunity to leverage our platform to support and empower more voices and creators of color whose talent and insights are instrumental in creating a more inclusive and diverse fashion industry.”
Additionally, creative director Francesco Risso took to his personal social media account: “I will do better. I humble ask grace from those who know me and patience from those who do not as I prove that celebrating diversity is at the center of my work and my creativity. Diversity and inclusion are imperative pillars of the fashion industry, and I am committed to keep fighting for it.”
“These stereotypes are just some of the ways the institution of white supremacy has oppressed, dehumanized, and deprived Black people of their human rights,” Diet Prada shared on Instagram. “For yet another fashion brand to reflect these tropes further proves the work that needs to be done to dismantle the pervasive racism throughout the world.”