trashion fashion world is still about that bullshit!
One would think that even in higher institutes of liberal learning—in New York City, at that—folks wouldn’t be so oblivious not to realize that anything that could possibly be construed as racist is a non-starter.
But no, not when it comes to fashion.
A black model at a Fashion Institute of Technology runway show is blowing the whistle about being pressured to wear accessories like “monkey ears” and oversized lips.
For the Feb. 7 FIT event, 25-year-old Amy Lefevre was told that it “was fine to feel uncomfortable for only 45 seconds” to wear what she said was “clearly racist.”
According to the New York Post, the brown-skinned beauty has been modeling for four years and appeared on more than two dozen catwalks.
Understanding the bigotry that continues to persist in the business, she nearly had a fit during this particular ordeal.
“I was literally shaking,” she revealed to the outlet. “I could not control my emotions. My whole body was shaking. I have never felt like that in my life.”
“People of color are struggling too much in 2020 for the promoters not to have vetted and cleared accessories for the shows,” she said.
Lefevre did end up walking the runway but didn’t wear the ears or the bright-red synthetic lips, which reportedly came from a sex toy—perhaps inspired by buxom transgender club queen and plastic surgery poster child Amanda Lepore (who was rumored to be involved with Kanye West, before Kim Kardashian.)
She said she stormed out of the event immediately afterward.
I hope she stomped hard, too.
The designs were created by Junkai Huang, a recent FIT graduate.
The native of China did not appear to understand the racial overtones of his work.
“We brought it up to [the producer] multiple times,” a witness said. “We said she cannot wear this. This is wrong. He screamed in my face, ‘You need to back down and get away.’ It was such a grave lack of judgment.”
Apparently the original concept called for highlighting “ugly features of the body.”
Lefevre told the newspaper that her agency, Q Model Management, was “furious” when she explained to them what went down.
But a rep for the company told The Post they had received “conflicting reports” about the show and suggested Lefevre’s account was unreliable.
Her story was corroborated by another student who was backstage and spoke to writer Jon Levine under the condition of anonymity.
Modeling agencies have traditionally been just as
racist racially insensitive as many other stakeholders in the fashion industry.
“They just don’t want their name to be anywhere near this,” Lefevre said, explaining the agency’s response.
Let’s hope the black model won’t get blackballed behind this whole dog’s mess.
According to a press release for the event—staged at Manhattan’s Pier59 Studios—it was designed to showcase the work of the 10 alumni from the school’s inaugural Master of Fine Arts class in Fashion Design program.
The show was helmed by FIT professor and chair of the new MFA Fashion Design Jonathan Kyle Farmer, and produced by Richard Thornn, a creative director of British fashion production company NAMES LDN.
The school is standing firm.
“This program protects a student’s freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative, so that they find that voice,” Fashion Institute of Technology president Dr. Joyce F. Brown—who happens to be black—told The Post.
“However provocative design and fashion might be though, my commitment to ensure that people are not made to feel uncomfortable, offended, or intimidated is also of the utmost importance not only to me personally but to the college community as well. We take this obligation very, very seriously and will investigate and take appropriate action regarding any complaint or concern that is made in this situation.”
Based in Chelsea, the 7,406-student school is one of the most prestigious among the taxpayer-funded State University of New York (SUNY) system.