During a recent fashion editorial on their website, Vogue Italia referred to a pair of large metallic hoops as “Slave Earrings.”
This upset consumers to the point where web administrators replaced the title with “Ethnic Earrings” and issued the following apology.
“We apologise for the inconvenience. It is a matter of really bad translation from Italian into English,” said the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani. “The Italian word, which defines those kind of earrings, should instead be translated into ‘ethnical style earrings.’ Again, we are sorry about this mistake which we have just amended in the website.”
It seems strange that amidst translation ethnic should be confused with slave.
This is the original description which makes many think the “mishap”was intentional.
“If the [Slave Earrings] bring to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the late 18th century, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.”
Vogue later pulled the description from the site altogether and left these words.
“WE’VE DECIDED TO REMOVE THE ARTICLE FROM THE SITE TO PROVE OUR GOOD FAITH AND TO SHOW IT WASN’T OUR INTENTION TO INSULT ANYONE.”
Check out the article for yourself here.