... the other Black experience

Black Fashion By Javii: Controversial Benetton Ads of the 90's

It's funny how some people hear the word fashion and think it's a joke, but they forget that if not for fashion they would not be wearing those jeans, socks, and ripped t-shirt while reading this article. So I want to take you back to a time where fashion photographers and advertisements used their power to start conversations about race, war, sex, religion, and even the U.S death sentence.
From 1982 to 2000 photographer Oliviero Toscani worked as creative director of United Colors of Benetton. Toscani who will forever be remembered for the controversial ad featuring an image of David Kirby, dying of AIDS surrounded by his family members as he took his last breaths for Benetton's 1992 campaign.

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Comment by Rosenda on July 10, 2013 at 10:29pm
Back then, during the year I worked at the Benneton in Beverly Hills and my friends Jason Nino Hector Michelle and Tessie all worked at the one on Melrose....I remember seeing the ads all over the magazines. I thought some photographs were pretty, some funny, some uncomfortable and kinda fetishizing the contrast of skin colors, but I had no idea anyone thought them controversial til recently. People I knew either laughed them off or rolled their eyes (like my parents). It was only white writers in a couple of editorials that made the comments about it signifying a protest against racism. When the dude from the Italian offices of Sisley & Bennetton came to visit with the regional manager, I suspect at ther level, they just hoed for lots of publicity to translate to more sales. Which they didn't, as far I observed.
Comment by Patrick Chappelle on January 18, 2013 at 3:31pm

I remember when black folks were up in arms about the picture of the two little girls. It was said that Benetton made the white girl look "angelic", and the black girl to look "demonic" because her hair looked like "devil's horns". Some of us try to read something into everything.

Comment by Mamadoc on January 18, 2013 at 1:51pm

Thanks for that reminder.

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