Misha's 2017 Cruise Collection was the source of a lot of hype after it was announced that American model Bella Hadid would open and close the show. But negative backlash followed the show as Hadid led the models down the runway for the finale to Beyoncé's "Formation." The problem here is that every model walking in the Misha show was white, and while "Formation" is a song celebrating women, it's specifically celebrating the heritage of black, American women.

You can easily observe this through the lyrical content of the song in the runway finale video. But in case you missed it, here are the lyrics as they are published on Genius:

My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils

I hope I'm not the only one who feels uncomfortable watching this runway finale. But some may still ask what the big deal is. Well, the show's curators decided to use a a song celebrating black women, but excluded black women from the runway. In an industry that already suffers from a severe lack of diversity, the show disrespected black people by using their culture, and not their people. This is problematic because models are viewed as the desirable image of beauty. If women of color aren't showcased in fashion, we aren't giving women of color a platform to be viewed as beautiful.

image

Now, Misha's designer is Michelle Aznavorian (above right). I'm not an expert, but I assume she has much to do with the model casting and song choices in her runway shows. Aznavorian is a woman from Melbourne, Australia. So, I can't imagine she would have a strong understanding of black history in America, and therefore the proper knowledge of the context of Beyoncé's "Formation."

But not understanding the complete context of a piece is no excuse for an ignorant production. The mistake that Aznavorian and her team made is one that is made too many times in the fashion industry. Creators must research references when using cultural pieces that are not native to them. Otherwise, their unconsciousness can lead to offensive cultural appropriation. It's easy for members of the majority to dismiss cultural appropriation, but this misuse leads to minority groups facing disrespect, ridicule and even financial losses. It's important to respect others, show accurate representation, and give credit where credit is due.

MishaCruise2017

Misha Cruise 2017 Collection (Images Source)

While the Misha Cruise 2017 Collection is honestly beautiful, the theme song to its final moments left a justified sour taste in many mouths. It reminded people of the whitewashing of the fashion industry, and even left some with a sore cheekbone after slapping them in the face.

This story was originally published on The Sami Fisher Blog on May 23, 2016.

Published by Samantha Grace Fisher