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.
They also debuted a sweater that reads, "Only Love Matters."
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.
Like, I really need designers to sit quiet instead of co-opting movements they have zero clue about. Like, pls keep your rainbow of fists.— Cherise M. (@ChicReese) June 17, 2017
Since your founders are NOT American they clearly do not know why #BlackLivesMatter Before you marginalize a message LEARN OUR HISTORY!— Modern Activism (@modernactivism) June 22, 2017
2. Bye ports 1961 for putting this shirt on a black man 🤔 pic.twitter.com/bqUlLUPv8L— lindsay peoples (@lrpeoples) June 21, 2017
"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.