Italian Vogue Features Unbelievably Racist 'Slave Earrings' [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Italian Vogue Features Unbelievably Racist 'Slave Earrings' [Updated]

The Vogue brand is no stranger to offensive missteps. In the past we've seen French Vogue do blackface, American Vogue portray LeBron James as King Kong, and Indian Vogue put a Fendi bib on an impoverished child. However, Vogue Italia always seemed a bit more enlightened than its sister publications. Just three years ago, the magazine put out its first "all black" issue, which (while not without its questionable moments) did more than any other edition to push for more diversity in fashion.


And now, there's a feature on "Slave earrings" on Vogue Italia's website. Update: As of Monday morning, they've replaced "slave" with "ethnic."

Illustration for article titled Italian Vogue Features Unbelievably Racist 'Slave Earrings' [Updated]

Lest you think that the Italian term for what Americans commonly refer to as "hoop earrings" was just incorrectly translated, here's the description of this hot trend.

You see, the magazine is only referencing one of the most disgusting events in human history in a story about earrings to show how far we've come! Now "Slave earrings" are all about "pure freedom." (Bonus racist allusion!) Vogue Italia just wants to celebrate "evolution" — by running a feature that sets us back decades.

Slave Earrings [Vogue Italia]

Earlier: French Vogue Must Not Think Blackface Is That Offensive
Is Vogue's "LeBron Kong" Cover Offensive?
Vogue India Puts Fendi Bib On Impoverished Child; Critics Freak
Italian Vogue's "All Black" Issue: A Guided Tour


Professor Pink

I just searched on "slave earrnings" to see if this was some kind of common phrase (that I've never heard) for hoop earrings. It's not, as far as I can tell. The other references to "slave earrings" that I found were mostly about earrings with a chain and an earcuff linked to it—still a horrible name, but I guess I can at least understand where the name came from. Can't say the same for the hoops above.

And Vogue Italia has certainly been controversial before—lots of Steven Meisel's photoshoots are of questionable taste, such as his oil slick shoot, his "state of security" shoot, and his plastic surgery shoot. I'm not surprised by this at all.