Earlier this week, Tory Burch came under fire for her Spring 2017 campaign video, which showed Poppy Delevingne and two other thin white models lip-synching and dancing along to Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion Mccall’s “Juju on That Beat.”
Critics of the short, titled “#ToryStory: An American Roadtrip,” pointed to the fact that Burch, a white designer, cast three white models in a video that attempts to capitalize on a craze that originated in the black community. In addition, Burch failed to credit the black musical artists behind the song. (Not to mention the fact that the “Juju on That Beat” dance challenge lived and died last fall.) Like Marc Jacobs before her, Burch drew from black culture without paying proper homage to her sources.
The campaign video, which began airing as a YouTube ad and featured in Elle Malaysia earlier this week, has since been removed from all channels. The Reva flat designer also issued a public apology. “The video was intended to celebrate music that we love with our spring collection,” Burch told British Vogue. “It was never meant to be insensitive in any way. We have removed the video from our channels. I personally feel very badly if this hurt anyone and I am truly sorry.”
Pre-controversy, director Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert told Elle Malaysia she’d picked “Juju On That Beat” for its levity. “I wanted the video to be playful and as chic as possible and to put you in a very good mood. ‘Juju On That Beat’ is a happy song; I like the fact that it is a very easy song, too,” Battaglia Engelbert stated, continuing, “The girls learned the moves very quickly and they had fun. The best part was watching them rehearsing and doing the song because they enjoyed themselves for real, which made this whole process very fun.” Neither Battaglia Engelbert nor Delevingne have issued any sort of statement regarding the culturally appropriative ad. Something tells us the sound of “Juju On That Beat” no longer gives the Italian fashion editor warm, fuzzy feelings.
[ via Vogue UK ]