Tory Burch Is Getting Called Out for Cultural Appropriation

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Tory Burch released a video for her new summer 2017 collection, which is being criticized for cultural appropriation and lack of diversity. (Photo: Instagram)
Tory Burch released a video for her new summer 2017 collection, which is being criticized for cultural appropriation and lack of diversity. (Photo: Instagram)

Tory Burch is the latest designer to commit cultural appropriation. The brand released a video on March 22 (which has now been removed) starring Poppy Delevingne and two other white female models dancing to Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall’s hit song “Juju on That Beat.”

The ad is called “#ToryStory: An American Road Trip” and is selling the brand’s summer 2017 collection, which consists of a lot of unsurprisingly preppy items.

So, here’s what we have:

Three thin white women, decked out in head-to-toe preppy clothes, in a video directed by a thin white woman, for a company owned by a thin white woman, capitalizing “on a craze that originated in the black community” as they dance and lip-sync to a song by two black guys, as the Fashion Spot put it.

What’s wrong with this picture? So much. And people are taking to social media to air their individual grievances.

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Basically, people are pissed that there are no models of color in the ad and the musicians received no recognition. The Fashion Spot pointed out that “the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation is inclusion.” So, if the brand had made more of an effort to include the musicians or cast diverse models, it would have been more acceptable.

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The segment of the song that they used was also a poor choice because the lyric “You know my hair nappy” is included. At this part of the video, Delevingne has just finished dropping it low and is mouthing the words, her silky locks glowing blonde. We have a feeling the woman has never dealt with nappy hair in her life.

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People are also pissed about the stuffed monkey purse shown with the models. The word “monkey” has been used in derogatory ways toward multiple ethnicities throughout history.

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According to Teen Vogue, Tory Burch was quick to put out the fire with an apologetic comment, saying: “I personally feel badly if this hurt anyone, and I’m truly sorry.” However, apparently the comment has been removed, while the video is still everywhere — just not on the company’s official site, of course.

This isn’t the first time Burch has set her preppy styles against hip-hop music, but in those videos, like her Tory Story for Holiday 2016 one, she at least had a more diverse set of models.

Burch is joining a long list of well-known brands that have made similar mistakes. In 2016, Free People came under fire for its festival collection, which featured feathered headdresses and hair clips, medicine bags, seed-beaded pieces, and rain sticks modeled by white, blond models. Obviously, the brand was accused of inappropriately co-opting Native American culture. And we’ll never forget the time Marc Jacobs sent women like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid down the runway in colorful dreadlocks during his 2017 New York Fashion Week show and the crowd went wild — and not in a good way.

When will they learn?

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