A lot of people made mistakes this year, and because year-end coverage allows us to do so, we’re going to round them all up and talk about them.
The fashion world was at no loss for controversy or straight-up bad choices in 2013, so while we may be shaking our heads at the following offenses, here’s hoping 2014 yields better, more socially aware results.
Read on about the biggest fashion controversies of 2013.
Story continues below the slideshow:
Lululemon – Like, In General
Abercrombie & Fitch Won't Stock Larger Sizes
Karl Lagerfeld Fat Shames
Lack Of Diversity At NYFW
Petra Collins’ Vagina T-Shirt
Joan Rivers Calls Jennifer Lawrence “Arrogant”
The “Be My Slave” Photo Shoot
Karl Lagerfeld Talks Smack About Pippa Middleton
NEXT: Racist Moments, 2013 Edition
Oprah is racially profiled in a Swiss store
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Winfrey was asked if she had personally experienced racism. She responded with an anecdote about a clerk at a shop in Switzerland who had recently refused to show her an expensive bag, even though she repeated her request multiple times. "That one will cost too much, you won't be able to afford that," Winfrey claimed the clerk told her. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/14/oprah-swiss-racist-interview_n_3759144.html?utm_hp_ref=oprah" target="_blank">Read the full story, here.</a>
Paula Deen and the N-word
The 66-year-old chef a<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/paula-deen-smithfield-endorsement-over-company-drops-deen-in-wake-of-racist-remarks_n_3495314.html" target="_blank">nd Food Network star admitted in a </a>deposition in a discrimination lawsuit that she used racial slurs in the past. Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. "Yes, of course," Deen said, though she added, "It's been a very long time."
Racist tweet from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Yes, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/23/atlanta-journal-constitution-racist-tweet_n_4150222.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices" target="_blank">racist tweets will get you in trouble.</a> AJC posted this, deleted it, and had to apologize.
Jordan Davis shooter rants about killing 'thugs'
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/18/jordan-davis-shooter-michael-dunn_n_4123805.html" target="_blank">Michael Dunn, the Florida man charged with shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis after an argument over loud music, </a>is currently awaiting trial and maintaining that he acted in self-defense the night of the fatal confrontation. In several letters reportedly written from jail, and obtained by News4Jax, Dunn rants about killing "thugs" so "they take the hint and change their behavior," black-on-white crime and the liberal media.
Black college student claims he was arrested for buying designer belt
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/23/trayon-christian-lawsuit-barneys-new-york-nypd_n_4148490.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices" target="_blank">Barneys New York and the New York Police Department have been slapped with a lawsuit by Trayon Christian</a>, a college student from Queens, who was arrested at the luxury department store in April. "His only crime was being a young black man,” Michael Palillo, Christian's attorney, told The New York Post. The Post reports that the 19-year-old was at the store buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt, but following the purchase, he was stopped by undercover officers that were allegedly called on by a Barneys sales clerk who believed the transaction was fraudulent.
Young woman hosts "African" themed 21st birthday, posts racist photos
A young Australian woman<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/african-themed-21st-birthday_n_4138573.html?utm_hp_ref=tw" target="_blank"> hosted an "African" themed 21st birthday party</a>. Afterwards, she shared photos that show attendees In blackface and KKK costumes.
Black woman allegedly fired from "Hooters" due to her blonde highlights
A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/22/farryn-johnson-fired-hooters-blond-highlights-_n_4142108.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices" target="_blank">black woman was allegedly fired from her job because of her blonde highlights.</a> Farryn Johnson told Maryland's CBS News affiliate that she was let go from her job as a waitress at Hooters due to '"improper image" after the 25-year-old refused to remove blonde highlights from her dark brown hair. "They specifically said, 'Black women don't have blonde in their hair, so you need to take it out,'" Johnson told CBS.
Ohio School Apologizes After Attempting To Ban 'Afro-Puffs' And 'Twisted Braids'
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/ohio-school-afro-puff-horizon-science-academy_n_3498954.html" target="_blank">An Ohio charter school attempted to ban </a>"afro-puffs and small twisted braids."
Obama as Hitler Billboard
WANE-TV<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/obama-hitler-billboard-indiana_n_4101322.html" target="_blank"> shared an image of the billboard, which is said to flash with the words "Impeach Obama."</a>
Another Black Shopper Accuses Barneys And NYPD Of Racism
Kayla Phillips, a 21-year-old nursing student from Brooklyn, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/24/barneys-racism-kayla-phillips_n_4155176.html" target="_blank">told the Daily News</a> that she was stopped by police after purchasing a $2,500 Céline bag at the store on February 28. After buying the luxury item with the money from a tax return, the woman left the Madison Avenue store. Three blocks away, she says she was surrounded by four undercover police officers -- two white, one African American and one Asian -- at a nearby subway station.
Company Policy Requires Missouri Woman To Cut Her Dreadlocks To Keep Her Job
Ashley Davis, a 24-year-old from St. Peters, Mo.,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/24/new-company-policy-forces-woman-to-cut-dreadlocks_n_4159369.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices" target="_blank"> said a change in her company's policy now requires her to cut off her dreadlocks. </a> “I've only been there for two months, and they came up with a policy. I feel like it's degrading,” she said.
Macy's Gets Slapped With Racial Discrimination Lawsuit By Black Shopper
The New York Post reports that actor Robert Brown, who's most known for his starring role opposite Sean Connery in the film “Finding Forrester," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/25/macys-racial-discrimination-lawsuit-black-shopper_n_4164823.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices" target="_blank">has filled a civil suit for an unspecified sum against the luxury retail store and the New York Police Department</a>, citing that he was unlawfully searched by undercover police officers on June 8, 2013. The 29 year old, who is black, was stopped after making a purchase at the Sunglass Hut store located inside Macy's flagship location in New York's Herald Square
Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman Halloween Costumes
A group costume<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/trayvon-zimmerman-halloween-costume_n_4170528.html" target="_blank"> features a man dressed as Martin</a>, wearing blackface and a blood-stained hoodie, and a man portraying Zimmerman, wearing a shirt that reads "Neighborhood Watch." In a photo uploaded to the Facebook account of Caitlin Cimeno, the woman in the picture, the man portraying Zimmerman has fashioned a gun out of his right hand and has pointed it at the man dressed as Martin.
Is this sign racist?
An Arkansas town with a reportedly dark past rooted in racial discrimination is pushing back after an "anti-racist" billboard<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/harrison-arkansas-antiracist-code-word-antiwhite_n_4227769.html" target="_blank"> went up on a major roadway there last month.</a> Someone in Harrison, Ark., is paying $200 a month for an entire year to display this 12-by-24–foot sign with the message "Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White."
Honestly, what are you thinking, people who obviously aren’t thinking? (We need to believe they weren’t thinking because the alternative is even worse.) Not only did Julianne Hough sport blackface while dressing up as "Orange is the New Black’s" Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren for Halloween, French Elle beauty editor Jeanne Deroo “dressed up” like Solange Knowles for an “Icons” party. No thank you. Racism is never “in."
2. Lululemon – Like, In General
For $92 (formerly $98), you too can wear sheer pants with a Lululemon logo on it. However, they’re the pants that cost Lululemon $67 million this year after being re-called for being basically see-through. And they hardly compare to founder Chip Wilson’s comments that “some women’s bodies actually don’t work” for his product; that “it’s really about rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure there is over a period of time, how much they use it.” Nope. Go to bed, Mr. Wilson. Apology not accepted. (Luckily, our prayers were answered and Wilson resigned from his post.)
3. Abercrombie & Fitch Won't Stock Larger Sizes
Despite Abercrombie and Hollister being the uniform for most high school students, CEO Mike Jeffries claimed in 2006 that “in every school there are the cool and not-so-cool kids” and that “candidly, we go after the cool kids.” Since his comments were published, Abercrombie didn't change their stance on stocking sizes XL and XXL for women which caused a lot of backlash against the retailer in 2013. Invevitably, Abercrombie apologized for refusing to stock larger sizes and Jeffries made a semi-apology.
4. Karl Lagerfeld Fat Shames
We know two things about Karl Lagerfeld: He loves his cat, Choupette (terrific!) and has a thing against overweight people (the opposite of terrific). In addition to slagging off Adele regularly, he also said in October that the hole in social security is due to diseases “caught by people who are too fat.” That, and “no one wants to see curvy women on the runway.” You are not correct, Lagerfeld. We hope that goes without saying.
5. Lack Of Diversity At NYFW
It’s time for fashion to reflect the diversity of our own communities, and thanks to the Diversity Coalition (which includes models Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Bethann Hardison), an email circulated around the fashion community that called designers out on not featuring African-American women or women of colour in their shows. And according to Jezebel, the industry’s getting worse: 82% of models are white, 9.1% are Asian, 6% are black, and 2% are Latino. Actually embarrassing.
6. Kanye West
Kanye West is synonymous with controversy – but not for lack of intelligence or business sense. However, after an interview in which he claimed to have invented leather jogging pants, Jimmy Kimmel spoofed it, leading to an impressive Kanye Twitter rant which included the hashtag, “#NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL.” The two eventually patched things up, but days later Kanye went on to claim he’ll be bigger than Wal-Mart. (Though the thing is, he’s probably right.)
7. Petra Collins’ Vagina T-Shirt
For reasons we’re not completely sure of, certain parties were up in arms over an American Apparel shirt this fall; a shirt designed by 17-year-old Torontonian Petra Collins which depicts a menstruating, masturbating vagina. It was labeled as “icky” to “gross” to “disgusting” – and by many adults. Which makes us wonder whether or not they’re aware that if they don’t like the shirt, they don’t actually have to buy it.
8. Joan Rivers Calls Jennifer Lawrence “Arrogant”
During "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" press tour, Jennifer Lawrence was quick to condemn bullying people over their style choices. "There are shows like 'The Fashion Police,'" she said, "that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the wrong values and that it’s okay to point at people and call them ugly or fat." To which Joan Rivers responded, "It’s funny how Jennifer Lawrence loved E! Fashion Police during Awards Season when we were complimenting her every single week" – before going on to say J-Law "tripped on her own arrogance." (That over-the-top eye roll you may have felt belongs to us.)
9. The “Be My Slave” Photo Shoot
Nope, no, why, no. In a spread for Diva magazine – featuring clothing by Aamna Aqeel – a white model is seen in the designs, while a small brown boy cowers in the corner and/or attends to her every need. In defence of herself, Aqeel claimed she was trying to shed light on the horrors of child labour, and that the boy worked in the garage and wanted some work. Needless to say, a debate was sparked big time – and for good reason.
10. Karl Lagerfeld Talks Smack About Pippa Middleton
Karl is welcome only to speak about his own clothes or his cat for most of 2014 because on his next list of offenses was this: Claiming Pippa Middleton should “only show her back” because he “doesn’t like [her] face.” At some point, Karl Lagerfeld became that relative our parents tell us not to pay attention to. At least when it comes to how people should look (particularly beautiful people like Pippa or Adele).