It seems that fashion designers and retailers alike just refuse to get the memo that racially appropriated clothing steeped in stereotypes is never okay, especially when they try to sell said clothing back to us like nothing is wrong. The latest instance in the fashion industry involving this situation is courtesy of popular retailer ASOS, who thought it was cool to promote a “hoodrat” clothing line. Yeah, you read that right. Hoodrat, that 90s term used to describe something unsavory and urban, has been turned into a clothing line by white people.
According to Revelist, ASOS has a marketplace where customers can purchase goods from thousands of independent sellers, one of which is named It’s A Hoodrat Thing. Once shoppers realized just what the store was selling and promoting, a well-deserved backlash ensued. What’s even more disturbing is that the store has been up and running since January of 2016, but only just recently garnered attention for its insensitive and stereotypical merchandise. It’s A Hoodrat Thing would have probably continued to fly under the radar until ASOS decided to name the online shop “One to Watch” on its website earlier this month.
The brand is based in Bali, the creation of two white women who describe themselves as “hip hop loving, wannabe gangsters.” Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. The shocking part of all of this is that no one seemed to think It’s A Hoodrat Thing was offensive until social media caught on to it.
The backlash for the vintage clothing brand was so severe that US Weekly reports that ASOS went into damage control mode quickly, stating “Asos confirmed that the shop was no longer on the marketplace in a December 16 tweet. “Eeek! Really sorry about this! It’s already been looked into and removed from our site,” the brand wrote after responding to an angry tweeter. It’s A Hoodrat Thing also deleted its website, along with its Instagram and Twitter accounts, soon after the angry masses discovered them.”
It’s ridiculous that racist and stereotypical imagery (including in film and TV) in fashion is still something that continues to pop up. It’s highly likely that if Black Twitter hadn’t done what they do best (exposing BS behavior), this clothing line would continue to prosper.
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