Swae Lee, 1/2 of the rap group Rae Sremmurd, made a plea on social media asking all rappers to stop giving Gucci their money. “Rappers, we need to stop wearing Gucci, man. They do not f*ck with rappers. All the rappers, we make that sh*t poppin. We need to stop wearing Gucci today man, do not wear no more Gucci. No more Gucci. Start the campaign, start the wave. I’m serious. No Gucci campaign. We gotta understand our reach,” he asked in a series of videos.
The relationship between luxury brands and urban America has always been a unique one. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and others, have fallen in love with black culture in recent years. In the 80’s and 90’s, these brands were reserved to the elite. People of color, specifically rappers, were not seen that way. Today, they embrace the black dollar and even the black culture by incorporating parts of our style into their collection. Door knockers, Chinese slippers, and braids have all found itself walking down the runway of white designers.
Designers like Dapper Dan made Gucci and Louis Vuitton accessible, fashionable and unique to the Hip Hop community. The Harlem-bred tailor would redesign pieces by adding mock-up logos to jackets, tracksuits, sneakers, pants and more. The luxury brands banned together to sue Dapper Dan for copyright infringement. Their issue wasn’t that he was taking money from their pockets, the issue was that they didn’t want the vision of their brand associated with black people.
Tracee Ellis Ross made a statement by wearing predominantly Black designers to the 2018 AMA’s. However, Ross’ has hosted everything from Black Girls Rock! to the BET Awards, yet allegedly this is the first time she’s worn a Black designer to host an award show. With Black culture being the catalyst for keeping these brands relevant in modern day culture, should they be making more of a commitment to the Black community? Gucci has partnered and donated 1 million dollars to BEYGood (Beyoncé’s philanthropic work); however, they made over 7.2 billion dollars in 2017. Should celebrities being uplifting Black designers and helping them create more wealth? Do we as consumers need to invest our dollars more in our community? Is that dress worth several thousand dollars? What do you think? Have many major fashion houses evolved or are we as a community spending our money in the wrong areas of fashion? Tell us in the comment section.