Brands like Kate Spade and Kenzo have mastered the art of audiovisual fashion campaigning, hiring cultural gems like Ali Wong and Mahershala Ali, respectively, to showcase their wares in a fresh and funny way. Tory Burch attempted something similar — and tragically missed the mark. The brand’s new “#ToryStory: An American Roadtrip” campaign, directed by Giovanna Battaglia, shows Poppy Delevingne and two other thin white models lip-synching and dancing along to Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion Mccall’s “Juju on That Beat.” (Yes, it’s just as cringe-worthy as it sounds.) The clip appears to be showing as an ad before YouTube videos.
As one would imagine, Tory Burch’s captive audience is not impressed. “At least diversify the casting of the models if you are going to be a culture vulture,” wrote one displeased viewer. “I’ve seen some horrible advertisements recently… but this one is so bad I had to come to the video and say something,” began another. Why are viewers so up in arms? We believe Fashionista put it best: “the problem…is that [the video] features a wealthy, thin white woman in an ad directed by a wealthy, thin white woman for a fashion brand run by a wealthy, thin white woman which capitalizes on a craze that originated in the black community.” As Marc Jacobs recently demonstrated, the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation is inclusion. With this video, Tory Burch is attempting to capitalize on a (six months past) trend without crediting its source. Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion Mccall are not mentioned in the video’s credits, though we assume a fat royalties check is in the mail. (Always look for the silver lining.)
It’s hard to image what Tory Burch’s team was thinking. Maybe they assumed that, seeing as Cara Delevingne’s (apolitical) Dubsmashes are such crowd-pleasers, her older sister’s lip-syncing would elicit a similar reaction?
Who knows. Watch the full clip below.
[ via Fashionista ]