Rip The Runway: Vogue, “Slave Earrings”? REALLY??

OK, Last week Nivea for men posted a wack-ass ad insinuating that black men with beards and afros were “uncivilized” and “didn’t give a damn”. It was just an asshole move on their part and after getting slammed for it in every corner of the World Wide Web, they took the ad down and issued an apology. 

Fast forward to this week: Here’s Vogue Italia with their “slave earrings”. Yep, “SLAVE EARRINGS”. Check it:

"Slave earrings"...on a white lady, no less. Hmph.

From the Vogue Italia website:

Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are theslave and creole styles in gold hoops.

 If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on.

 Anna Bassi, Vogue Gioiello n. 109, March 2010

It seems as if we have to teach these unaware corporations everyday that our culture isn’t up for exploitation and that they need to respect us. Hey, I’m down if you’re down. This right here is disgusting. It is a slap in the face of not only the memory every slave woman who suffered the indignities of European Chattel Slavery, but to all of their descendants, including me. A Black slave woman would be be beaten if she even attempted to adorn herself with something as fine as gold hoop earrings. No white slave traders ever said to African women “Oh, well ma’am…I’m going to take you over to the Americas and sell you into a lifetime of bondage, servitude and horrific violence, but you can keep those nice gold hoop earrings you’re wearing.” Excuse my tart language, but Vogue Italia can get the entire f*ck outta here with this ad. Slavery is never trendy, fashionable or chic.

I’m about sick of this crap. I sent the people at Vogue a letter and I encourage you to the same if ad this offends you as much as it does me. Fellow Blogger @purplepeace79 sent me this note that she put up on her Tumblr blog and she is giving us all permission to copy and paste it into the contact form over at to lodge our complaints:

Dear Vogue,

On the Vogue Italia website, there is a product called “Slave Earrings” This is horribly disrespectful to people of African descent whose ancestors endured the horrors of slavery. To refer to gold hoop earrings as “slave earrings” is a slap in the face to every enslaved person who suffered at the hands of racist oppression. You should pull this item or change the change name immediately. This is unbelievable. How did you let this happen? 

Thanks for this form letter, PurplePeace. If this doesn’t drive home the point to the people at Vogue that “slavery accessories” are not that new hot sh*t, then they truly just don’t give a damn.



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  • Melzie

    This just boggles my mind. They obviously don’t have a person of “colour” on their editorial staff. Pure freedom, eh?

  • Anonymous

    This comes at a time in our history when the unemployment of black males in DC is now at 50% and high all over the country in cities run by Democrats.  Under the policies of the first black president who happens to be a Democrat you would think it would be the opposite but it’s not.  Central government planned policies hurt the poor and middle class first and diminish their will to dream.  It’s odd that the Corporations and the Fashion world would think “slave earrings” would be a good fashion choice at this period in time.  I hear the Democrats rally to condemn the “rich” and demand higher taxes but it is the “rich” that this president/administration seems to spend most of his time with.  I also think it’s disappointing that this administration bends over backwards to protect and offer the illegals a secure lot right now for their chance to help him win another election.  These illegals seem to secure a place in our universities and are covered when in need of health care or housing.  Who is this administration working for exactly, all the people or a certain few?  I thought your description of the white woman wearing those earrings was somewhat correct, but I see us both in that role now that our freedom to earn a living and paying off this massive debt they spent in our names makes us all slaves to our government now,  in one way or other.  Is this the elites little joke on us?

  • Master Muhammad

     I can’t call it anymore. Slavery Earrings? Is Vogue serious with this nonsense? It’s easy to deduce that the name of another people’s bondage wouldn’t be up for sale like this. No one would dare push a line of jewelry like “Holocaust necklaces.” They would get crushed by Jewish lobbyists and the Jewish controlled media outlets instantly. Yet people even in the fashion world can spit on the graves of our forefathers who endured centuries of abuse? This should be a wake up call to my people in general. We are far from free if things like this can still happen without repercussions.

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