Just like designers who use fur in their collections, those who employ potentially controversial religious symbols have to be at least somewhat aware that their actions may draw protests. In 2000, DKNY recalled a line of pants with verses from the Koran running down the leg; had no one at the company suspected that this might anger Muslims? Unlikely. Again, it seems to be a case of wait and see: the DKNY pants could easily have slid under the radar if no Muslims had seen them or if no one complained. And some oblivious Fashion Victim in Argyle, Wisconsin, would have been the one to bear the brunt of the criticism when she wore the pants in front of a suddenly insulted person.
CULTURE KILLER In April 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch promptly pulled three T-shirt designs from all of its 311 stores after receiving dozens of angry phone calls. Protesters charged that the shirtsone featuring two Chinese laundry workers wearing conical hats that said, Wong Brothers Laundry Service: Two Wongs Can Make It Whitepromoted negative stereotypes of Asians. A spokesman said the company thought consumers, especially the Asian community, would like the shirtsan example of how oblivious some clothiers are when it comes to other cultures. Once again, the level of offense greatly depends on who created the clothes.
For instance, had Vivienne Tam created a campy shirt like the Two Wongs one, she might not have been criticized. Likewise, an African-American designer who splashed Old School Niggaz on the back of a jacket would run into fewer protests than, say, Karl Lagerfeld, if he were to do it. Abercrombie & Fitch’s white suburban image didn’t vibe with the image created by the Two Wongs shirt. I sometimes wonder: if the same shirt had been sold at a sassier store like Urban Outfitters, would red flags have ever been raised? One could argue that it is unfair, but that’s the state of political correctness today.10 Best Self Tanners – Top Sunless Tanners for Face and Body Ltf
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