And Here We Have a 'Sexy Little Geisha' Outfit From Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret has quickly pulled an Asian-themed lingerie collection called "Go East" that traded in sexualized, generic pan-Asian ethnic stereotypes. The item people found most offensive? The $98 "Sexy Little Geisha" teddy. The teddy was part of the lingerie giant's "Sexy Little Things" product category — making it sort of like the "Sexy Little Sergeant" outfit or the "Sexy Little Showgirl" get-up VS also offers, only with overtones of Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The "Sexy Little Geisha" teddy boasted an obi-style belt and was accessorized with chopsticks for your hair and a paper fan. "Your ticket to an exotic adventure: a sexy mesh teddy with flirty cutouts and Eastern-inspired florals," read the VS Web copy. "Sexy little fantasies, there's one for every sexy you." Jeff Yang at the Wall Street Journal interviewed one of the most insightful voices on the topic of fashion's construction of race, Mimi Nguyen from Threadbared, about the "Go East" collection:

Mimi Nguyen, associate professor of women's and Asian American studies at the University of Illinois–Urbana Champaign and cofounder with Minh-Ha Pham of the Threadbared fashion blog, flags the collection as a set of "stereotypical images that use racist transgression to create an exotic edge," pointing out that all of the models wearing the Go East lingerie are non-Asian. "Asians can't wear things like the ‘sexy little geisha' outfit without looking ridiculous," she says. "But it's a way for white women to borrow a racially exotic edge for a moment's play." Or, as, Phil Yu, the inimitable voice behind the AngryAsianMan.com blog, puts it even more simply: "Hooray for exotic orientalist bullshit."

Following this uproar, Victoria's Secret promptly yanked the Sexy Little Geisha outfit, and then obscured access to the whole Go East collection, with publicists now saying that the line has "sold out," an assertion belied by the fact that the items have been purged from the website's very database: Searches for "Geisha" or "Go East" now come up as errors. (Though no longer accessible directly, the line can still be seen, sans sexy geisha outfit, at this link.)

[ABC, WSJ]


This is Prada's fall campaign video and it is amazing . [YouTube ]
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