STYLE

Canadian Fashion Brand Put On Blast For Appropriating Black Lives Matter Movement

What were they thinking??

06/22/2017 10:26 EDT | Updated 06/22/2017 10:26 EDT

Sometimes we scratch our heads and ask ourselves, "Who in their right mind thought this was OK?"

This time, we're asking that very question of Canadian fashion brand Ports 1961.

The luxury label recently stuck their (chic) heads in the sand when they presented models sporting sweaters that read, "Every Color Matters" at their recent fashion show during Men's Fashion Week, sparking backlash online.

Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the Ports 1961 show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 on June 16, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

They also debuted a sweater that reads, "Only Love Matters."

Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
A model walks during the Ports 1961 show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 on June 16, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Notwithstanding the fact that the fashion label is capitalizing on an important movement that at its core seeks to end anti-black racism, but it's also being flippant towards Black Lives Matter by tweaking the words to make them more "palatable" for their audience, thus delegitimizing the movements' cause.

Fortunately, Black Twitter took Ports 1961 to task, explaining why the brand's shirts are offensive, especially in light of the recent acquittal of the police officer who killed Philando Castile.

Even Vogue pointed out that the brand's messaging was troublesome.

"A T-shirt that read 'Only Love Matters,' a broadening of the term 'Black Lives Matter,' felt, to this writer, troublesome (a movement that big and important and personal to so many should perhaps not help to serve a company's bottom line)," wrote Nick Remsen. "Ditto for a clenched fist on a jumper that opened the show; there are subtler and more sensitive ways to deliver a message of resistance and fairness and acceptance."

Refinery29 reports that the brand's show notes acknowledged that they were paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement and that the collection was meant to show their "message of solidarity."

"This collection is, in its own way, a message of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement that began in the street and on social media in 2012. The fight against violence and for justice for black people resonates today in an even wider, bigger way," the notes read.

Ports 1961, this was the wrong way to show your support for a movement that's fighting for equality. Do better.