So shocking! An Italian designer has come under fire for having his models walk the runway in sparkly black face makeup during Milan Fashion Week. Are you offended by his controversial decision, HollywoodLifers?
Designer Claudio Cutugno‘s models dropped jaws when they wore blackface in his all-black themed fashion show in Milan on Feb. 24. Find out how he responded to the huge public backlash.
Glitter Blackface On Models During Milan Fashion Week — Offensive?
Fashion fans and writers freaked out after Claudio’s models hit the runway in blackface on Feb. 24. Glitter or not, many are now slamming Claudio’s move as racist.
As E! News pointed out, Refinery29 responded to the fashion show with an article titled “Why the Hell Is This Still Happening?” writing, “Excuse our language, but what the ever-loving f–k? Was there no one backstage who thought, ‘Hey, you know what else this kind of looks like?’ Putting glitter on top of black paint does not even remotely take away the insulting nature of this practice.”
A writer for The Gloss said: “I’m all for creative makeup at fashion week, but there are an infinite number of beauty looks you could try that don’t involve painting models’ faces black.”
The Huffington Post took a more sympathetic view but still criticized the designer’s decision, writing, “While we can give the designer the benefit of the doubt (hey, maybe he really wasn’t trying to be racist), we have to say, this isn’t the smartest move.”
Although Claudio is defending his decision by saying it was inspired by the artist Emilio Isgrò, who uses bees in his work, we have a tough time believing that it didn’t even occur to the designer that people might find glittery blackface offensive. See his full statement below.
Claudio Cutugno Responds To Glitter Blackface Backlash
Designer Claudio Cutugno says in a new statement to E! News:
I think is a pleasure to have the chance to answer the cricism about the make up I decided to use. Anyway just to be clear: the collection was inspired by Emilio Isgrò artworks. He was literally erasing parts of the text of some books, he was putting some black ink on top on some words he wanted to erase so to let some words come out from the text and be underlined. As well as this, in ancient Greek, the meaning of the words that were underlined was related to the tradition of wearing black veils around the heads when women needed to say goodbye to their husbands. This also today is a tradition which in Sicily is used when women go to burials. So the black make up we decided to use was actually a translation of the black veil. I chose not to use the real veil because I did not want to cover the whole faces of the models. I did not even wanted to refer to the bees Isgrò is using in his artworks: someone said I wanted to represent the faces “as they would have been swarmed by bees” but to me that idea would have not been cohesive with the whole creative process behind the collection and above all pretty cruel. I am extremely sorry if many people thought this make up would result offensive and also that I am racist, but that was not my intent. I am extremely respectful of the afroamerican culture and extremely sorry for each type episode of racism. Furthermore my inspiration was coming from a completely different idea which has nothing to do with the theme of afroamerican culture. I would have never tought someone could have find the make up offensive, otherwhise I would have never used it.
So HollywoodLifers, what do YOU think? Do you find the glitter blackface offensive? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
— Tierney McAfee