Like clockwork, yet another “we-didn’t-mean-it-that-way” photo spread has infiltrated the fashion scene. Following NumÃ©ro magazine’s “African Queen” fiasco back in February, designer Aamna Aqeel has added a new entry onto a laundry list of failed and offensive pieces.
“Be My Slave” is the latest vision from the up-and-coming Pakistani designer who has found herself in hot water for the racially-charged spread published in Diva magazine. The editorial shoot features a stylish White model dressed in Aqeel’s creations while the dark-skinned help caters to her every need.
The International Herald Tribune‘s Salima Feerasta writes:
“Obviously designed to shock, it shows a model being pandered to by a dark-skinned child slave. The fact that the slave in the advertisements is a child, makes the images that much more inexcusable.
Aqeel has barely been designing for two years. She won some critical acclaim at the fifth edition of Fashion Pakistan Week held recently in Karachi, but she remains very much an emerging designer with a lot to prove. It seems that sheâ€™s decided, by hook or by crook, itâ€™s time to get noticed.”
Aqeel has denied any racist angle pertaining to the shoot, instead insisting that the images of the dark-skinned Baloch child were purely incidental and her intent was to shine a light on child labor. She told the media outlet she is currently educating and supporting the young boy and chose to use him in a spread highlighting how “society madams” employ children in their homes.
That’s one way to put it.
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