Ralph Lauren issued a public apology for their use of black fraternity symbols on chino pants; the pants retailed for 299.99 euros (estimated $334 U.S. dollars).
What We Know:
- Firstly, Ralph Lauren said the pants are no longer available for purchase.
- According to a report from NBC News, the featured Greek letters were Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., founded at the prestigious Howard University. Howard University is a historically black college in Washington.
- Watch the Yard first promulgated the conflict and prompted a petition on change.org. Moreover, the petitions urged Ralph Lauren to “do the right thing and RECALL, DESTROY, & PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE for trying to capitalize off of Black Culture!”
- Also, NBC News reports that a spokeswoman for the fashion brand said the use of the symbols was “an oversight”.
- The fashion industry has had its share of racially charged clothing and backlash, which prompts questions as to why? And is it intentional? For instance, Gucci apologized for incorporating a black sweater with blackface into their Fall 2018 line. The article of clothing had a long red-lip outline with a retail price of $890. Gucci received backlash from consumers, specifically black, that urged them to issue a public apology and remove the sweater for purchase. Sequentially, the luxury brand took steps in showing they were serious about diversity and inclusion by hiring a black woman as their first Global Head of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion.
The public would like to know, was it really an “oversight” or the miseducation of a sacred brotherhood.