So apparently ‘Slave Earrings’ are en vogue these days.

It seems like advertisers just can’t get it right. From Summer’s Eve misguided “All Hail the V” campaign, to McDonald’s hip-hop inspired commercials, it when some companies target minorities they end up drowning in stereotypes. Now…we can add Vogue to the list of brands who missed the effin’ point.

The venerable magazine is no stranger to controversy. French Vogue famously styled White models in blackface, and its American counterpart likened LeBron James to King Kong.The ‘Fashion Bible’ isn’t adverse to pushing limits, but Vogue Italia, known for it’s “Black Issue” and continuous use of Black models from around the world, has been a welcomed reprieve from the white-washed fashion industry…until now.

Earlier this month, Vogue Italia ran an article touting a new trend—‘Slave earrings.’

If you’re like me and have absolutely NO clue what ‘Slave Earrings’ are, Vogue Italia described them:


After seeing Dr. Goddess tweet Dawnavette‘s blog post about the earrings, I did a little research. Apparently ‘Slave earrings’ aren’t as rare as we might think (or hope).

According to my search, ‘Slave Earrings’ stem from the punk rock movement and typically “include a stud worn at the ear lobe, and an attached chain that goes to the top of the ear by way of a second piercing or cuff, are known as slave earrings, or multiple-piercing earrings.”

Although the earrings touted by Vogue Italia do not include chains, the mention of women of color speaks to their knowledge of how the description of these earrings may affect Black women. The fact that the writer thought the name ‘Slave earrings’ would make us think about the “traditions” of women of color rather than how slaves in America were treated is beyond offensive.

Whoever thought THIS was a good idea needs to be schooled in the seriousness of slavery, because last time I checked, there isn’t anything fashionable or trendy about it.

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  • CDB

    What’s even more interesting is how the earrings pictured are almost identical to the oversized hoops worn by the females on basketball wives LOL…

  • Fox

    How about a holocaust headscarf while you’re at it? I bet they wouldn’t touch that one, but slavery……no big deal. You’s free now. I’m tired of marketing addressing blacks like we don’t understand it if it’s not colorful or music filled. Ugh.

  • Summer’s Eve and these earrings are absolutely nothing alike. These are just big earrings…like Jennifer Lopez has been wearing for years (pictured here http://ow.ly/6asNS )

  • I totally missed the part of Roots that women who were busy being molested, worked like beast and their families sold had time and the luxury to keep jewelry. You can take my virginity, dignity and family but I’ll be damned if you are going to get these gold hoop earrings. I mean really are they serious!


  • Fabiola

    Yes, I agree this is awful… But I’m curious to see the original Italian text. I speak the language and am interested to see how lame of an excuse the editor’s comment is.