The Fashion Institute of Technology came under fire for a recent runway show and now they have apologized. In a show on February 7, a fashion show to honor graduating students of the Master of Fine Arts program featured models wearing monkey ears and giant red lips.
After receiving backlash for the racist symbolism on the runway, Fashion Institute of Technology President Joyce F. Brown issued a statement about how the intended message missed its mark.
“Currently, it does not appear that the original intent of the design, the use of accessories or the creative direction of the show was to make a statement about race,” Brown wrote. “However, it is now glaringly obvious that has been the outcome. For that, we apologize—to those who participated in the show, to students, and to anybody who has been offended by what they saw.
“In the days and weeks that follow, as mentioned above, we will be taking several steps to address the concerns of our community. We will be engaging with our Diversity Council, our Faculty Senate, the UCE, and the Student Government Association to continue this important conversation; we will put in place safeguards to ensure that a situation like this will not happen again; and finally, there will be an ongoing investigation about the event itself—how it occurred, who was involved, and why there was no immediate follow-up.”
The Fashion Institute apologizes for “clearly racist” show where models wore large fake ears and lips. https://t.co/Jo7aHQHn1k
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 19, 2020
The university vows that a mistake of this magnitude will never happen again, and hopefully Brown will use this as a valuable learning lesson for everyone.