In more Men’s Fashion Week drama, 21-year old rapper and Georgia native Raury boycotted Dolce & Gabbana’s spring/summer 2018 men’s runway show this week. The Italian design house has been in hot water after a string of recent events, including firing Miley Cyrus’ kid brother Braison Cyrus, releasing negative comments on gay parenthood and dressing controversial First Lady Melania Trump.
The brand kicked things off by having models rock tees with the word “boycott” plastered across them in a pre-show photo opp. Apparently this didn’t sit so well with Raury— one of several young influencers chosen to walk the runway. Things quickly took a turn when the artist removed his hoodie during the presentation, revealing hand-written words on his chest reading: PROTEST D&G, GIVE ME FREEDOM and I AM NOT YOUR SCAPEGOAT.
In an interview with GQ, the star shed light on his decision to speak out against the brand. Here’s a cheat sheet below.
1. The lure is Real
Say what you want, but “generation selfie” is dope, which is why top brands like Dolce & Gabbana can’t get enough of ’em. Using millennials in campaigns helps luxury brands stay relevant while appealing to a younger demographic. It’s a win-win when executed properly but, sometimes twenty-somethings can overlook the true intentions of such partnerships while chasing that designer cosign. Raury admits he fell victim, too. “This [was] my first time walking in a runway show. There [were] a lot of other kids [there]—and it was their first time walking in a runway show, too. Everyone was just excited. Everyone was blinded by the opportunity.”
Lesson: Brands need you more than you need them. As an influencer, you’ve gained a strong social following before partnering with anyone, so make sure potential collaborations align with your core values before signing on the dotted line.
2. Boycotting ain’t a joke
“It wasn’t that long ago that people of color were marching for equal rights. If boycotts didn’t happen, if Rosa Parks and M.L.K. didn’t step up, who knows if I would even exist,” the star added. Downplaying or making light of boycotting–especially in todays social climate–is nothing to take lightly.
Lesson: Neva eva forget the struggle.
3.Trump = Death to The Culture
Between the President’s twitter rants, press conference mishaps and lack of support on issues that face Black and brown communities, it’s clear he doesn’t care much about us. Supporting brands that have cosigned Trump is like supporting him as well. One of the most effective ways to get your voice heard is through buying power, so make sure you’re informed before dropping those coins.
Lesson: Put your money where your mouth is by supporting businesses that advocate for our causes.