A pair of $ 1,190 sweatpants from fashion house Tony Balenciaga are being criticized on social media as racist and as a prime example of cultural appropriation.
The “Optical illusionThe sweatpants come with built-in boxer shorts designed to protrude above the waist, mimicking the style popularized in hip hop culture.
It sounds racist. It sounds very racist, said TikTok user @ mr200m__, real name Josiah Hyacinth, as another offscreen voice responds: It is.
Hyacinth is seen probing the pants, which were on display in the UK-based upscale Selfridges department store.
They wove those boxers inside the pants, Hyacinth continued. The video, which has been viewed over 1.6 million times, is captioned: You know when something looks racist @Balenciaga I have questions.
They gentrified and slumped, user @ 6aptist responded in one of more than 3,300 comments on the video.
Marquita Gammage, Associate Professor of African Studies at California State University, Northridge, told CNN she has been bothered by the pants and considers it “black culture hoping to get big profits.”
Gammage, who is the author of ‘Cultural Appropriation as’ Agency Reduction’ added that the style has “been used to criminalize black people, especially black men as thugs and a threat to American society.”
Balenciaga’s Trompe-L’Oeil Men’s Sweatpants in Red trigger immediate concern given the grotesque similarity to the iconic African-American hip-hop aesthetic worn by black Americans for decades that resulted in imprisonment and the deaths of black men, “Gammage said in an email to CNN.
“The pants have a commercial cultural appropriation written all over it; marked with the name of Balenciaga.
Gammage’s remarks are an apparent reference to a handful of laws in several states in the southern United States that target blacks for wearing pants that drop below the waistline, such as the anti-sag pants law passed in Louisiana in 2007. and abolished only in 2019.
Of all arrests made under the law, 96 percent were of black men, according to the times of shreveport, citing data from the local police department.
Ludivine Pont, Marketing Director of Balenciaga, said in a statement to CNN: “In many of our collections, we combine different wardrobe pieces into one garment, such as denim jeans layered over sweatpants, a cargo shorts fused with jeans and buttons. shirts layered over t-shirts.
“These Trompe L’Oeil pants were an extension of that vision,” she added.
Representatives for Balenciaga and parent company Kering did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
And the pants aren’t the only item drawing the ire of social media watchdogs.
Many have called Balenciaga’s $ 2,090 “Barbes Est-Ouest tote bag”To look like a bag design from West Africa.
“As Africans you can’t convince us it’s Balenciaga, we know what it is lol”, user @SithaleKgaogelo tweeted.
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