The Fashion Industry Never Fucking Learns

Screenshot: NBC News Twitter

In November 2018, Dior was criticized for featuring Jennifer Lawrence in its ads for a cruise line that the brand claimed drew inspiration from Mexican heritage. A year later, Dior proved they learned absolutely nothing from that backlash by touting a cologne called “Sauvage” as “an authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding, and secular territory” with a Johnny Depp-led music video until very angry people told them to knock it the fuck off.

The teaser video for the bigger campaign around Sauvage—the French word for “wild” or “savage”— featured a Native American spirit dancer and a voice-over by Dior spokesperson Johnny Depp, who seemingly has decided to give appropriation another shot after being roundly criticized for his depiction of Tonto in The Lone Ranger. The campaign was supposed to star Depp in a longer video called “We Are the Land,” which also included input from Americans for Indian Opportunity, a nonprofit advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples, according to NBC News. But after facing tremendous objection on social media to giant fashion house using historically harmful stereotypes of native people in order to sell French cologne, Dior has deleted the teaser from all of its accounts.

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But given the response to Dior’s cruise collection with Lawrence as the face of celebrating Mexican Heritage, some, like author Laura Gilman, wondered if this isn’t some strange and cynical bid for Dior to generate buzz with negative publicity like Gucci got for its $890 blackface sweater:

“So, either everyone at Dior’s ad company has been snoozing for the past decade+, or they were counting on the outrage for cheap publicity,” Gilman tweeted.

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That would also explain keeping Depp on as the star of the campaign despite not only the Tonto criticism but also the allegations of abuse that keep popping up in lawsuits between Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard.

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