Prada’s racial re-education

A New York government agency has struck a deal with the fashion brand to stop it producing ‘racially insensitive’ products.


Topics Culture USA

The fashion world has been rocked in recent years by a series of scandals over ‘cultural appropriation’ and allegedly racially insensitive designs. There was the Gucci sweater that some felt resembled blackface, and the Zara skirt that some said featured an alt-right symbol. But the news that Prada has struck a deal with the New York City Commission on Human Rights over its allegedly racist products is a remarkable escalation in fashion’s woke wars.

As the New York Times reports, the commission – a law-enforcement agency of the municipal government that oversees human-rights laws – had been investigating Prada for over a year. It all stemmed from a social-media controversy sparked by Chinyere Ezie, a civil-rights lawyer, who spotted and posted about a Prada window display in downtown New York. It featured figurines that she and others felt resembled monkeys in blackface.

Now, as the NYT notes, Prada has agreed to a package of reforms including ‘internal re-education, engaging in financial and employment outreach with minority communities, and submitting to external monitoring of its progress for the next two years’. This will also include the appointment of a ‘diversity and inclusion officer’, the candidate for which must be approved by the commission, whose responsibilities will include ‘reviewing Prada’s designs before they are sold, advertised or promoted in any way in the United States’.

The famously aloof fashion industry may have committed a number of bizarre self-owns in recent years. Though it is hard to believe that many, if any, of the now numerous blackface-design scandals – who could forget Katy Perry’s shoes – were intentional, any sensible person might have seen these controversies coming. But whatever you think about these various Twitterstorms, the idea of a government agency mandating literal re-education and involving itself in the creative process to this degree is terrifying.

What’s more, the idea that the fashion industry causing unintentional offence is even a topic of serious discussion and handwringing is bizarre. Too many seem to have bought into the idea that through policing cultural imagery we can cure the ills of society – in this case, racism. This is not only incredibly stupid, it also has deeply authoritarian consequences. It’s how we end up here: with government bodies effectively telling fashion brands what they can and can’t sell, what their designers can and can’t create, and mandating ‘re-education’ for all their staff. There’s a word for that, and it’s not ‘progressive’.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


madef madef

14th February 2020 at 5:19 pm

My Boy pal makes $seventy /hour at the internet. He has been without a assignment for six months however remaining mofiventh her pay have become $16453 genuinely working at the internet for some hours. immediately from the source…

Ven Oods

9th February 2020 at 9:06 am

How could anyone wish to stifle the creative fancies of such tender darlings?
(The state jackboot knows no boundaries, so I suppose we should all care, no matter how off-trend our current wardrobes might be.)

Michael Lynch

6th February 2020 at 2:19 pm

Much like modern feminists want to return women to the days of the Victorian wallflower, modern black power movements want to return to a world of segregation. They’ll be black only sections in libraries where all books that are perceived to offend black people will be removed. They’ll be black only shops with no offending clothes and black only areas with black only Police officers so they can shoot and stab each other without white interference. Finally, they’ll be black only transport so they can’t be offended by white peoples whiteness. It’s absurd behavior and the more they engage in this nonsense the more self segregated they’ll become.

K Tojo

6th February 2020 at 2:01 pm

Why are the energies of the “woke” movement so focussed on protecting black people from anything which might cause them offence? Are they really that fragile?

Yes, I know. It’s all about white virtue-signalling (just a new form of moral cowardice dressed up as virtue).

Dominic Straiton

6th February 2020 at 1:23 pm

Put Trudeau in charge of the re education of Prada. No one would complain. We’d laugh, but thats about it.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.