The fashion magazine Italian Vogue has apologized for an article referring to hoop earrings as slave earrings.
The feature published on Vogue.it on Aug. 5 came under fire for being racist.
The article read: Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops.
If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of color who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.
Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on.
The piece ran under the title Slave Earrings and called them a classic always in evolution. Outraged readers took to fashion blogs and social media sites to condemn the fashion magazine's attempt at glamorizing slavery.
A campaign was launched where followers could tweet Italian Vogue to register their fury at the feature, according to a Daily Mail report.
The petition read: Ad agencies are clearly in dire need of consultation by Black Women and Men, as they routinely miss the mark in communicating with consumers. From the Summer's Eve to McDonald's to Vogue, the lack of tact, cultural relevance and basic intelligence is simply appalling.
It demanded a full apology and the withdrawal of the article from Vogue Italia's Web site.
In this latest example by Vogue Magazine, we want the ad removed IMMEDIATELY and we want a specific apology to Black women because Black women's supposed slave narratives were used in the promulgation of the ad.
Vogue's Web site was also flooded with enraged comments.
There is absolutely nothing fashionable about the history of enslaved Africans. African women were not 'brought' to the U.S.; they were captured, raped, beaten and taken against their will in chains. I do not interpret these earrings as a message of freedom. This is just another reminder of how companies continue to be insensitive to the history of the Maafa (The African Holocaust), a poster called Chezney wrote.
An infuriated reader tweeted that the article was clearly written by an ignorant air head who is totally vacuous.
The editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani, apologized for the piece, saying that the writer's intention was lost in the piece.
We apologize for the inconvenience. It is a matter of really bad translation from Italian into English, Sozzani told the UK Telegraph.
The Italian word, which defines those kind of earrings, should instead be translated into 'ethnical style earrings', she said.
Following the controversy the Web site changed the title and description of the jewelry slideshow. The feature was renamed ethnic earrings. But under the Tags section, the word slave still appeared. On Monday afternoon, however, the article had been removed with the following message in its place.
We've decided to remove the article from the site to prove our good faith and to show it wasn't our intention to insult anyone.