You may have missed the Ulyana Sergeenko kerfuffle, and it would be remiss not to mention it: The designer send handwritten notes to some of her show guests, apparently, and one of them posted a photo of hers. From W:
[S]treet-style star Miroslava Duma posted an Instagram Story of a bouquet of perfectly lovely roses—most of which were obscured by a note with the letterhead of Ulyana Sergeenko, beneath which the Russian couture designer had scrawled, “To my n***as” in Paris,” with a smiley face.
To be clear, Sergeenko did not censor the word; she spelled it out in full. Continuing:
Rather than being horrified, Duma seemed to think it was an opportunity to show off her close bond to, and love for, her friend […] But those followers, it turns out, were quite flummoxed by the casual use of the racial slur. Many of them expressed incredulity that Duma was praising rather than condemning the designer.
Sergeenko says she was referencing a Kanye/Jay-Z song, and then things took a further turn:
Unfortunately, any sympathy she might have been generating pretty much evaporated when it was followed by the lines: “Kanye West is one of my favorite musicians and NP is one of my most favorite songs. And yes, [Duma and I] call each other the N word sometimes when we want to believe that we are just as cool as these guys who sing it.”
I suppose one could, as with the Zuhair Murad issue, argue a cultural divide here over the understanding of how deeply the word cuts. But in truth, it’s 2018 and nobody can claim ignorance anymore over the N word, and what it connotes, nor the fact that it’s simply not appropriate and it’s absolutely not a word that can be seized or in any way redefined by anyone outside the group it continues to oppress. I can’t even imagine saying it, much less picking up a pen and meticulously spelling it out by hand. Refinery29 had an interesting take on this incident — and the quick rise and fall of wrath about it — as it relates to overall “wokeness in fashion.” It’s worth a read, and a thought. Although I also think this has blown over quickly enough that we’ll still see these clothes end up on celebrity bodies, so we might as well take a look.