Well, it seemed many Mover’s and Shaker’s of the fashion industry had a lot to say about this years Rip the Runway, Black Entertainment Television’s annual exhibition of black fashion via the Runway. Most relative to the talk 0f the town was the absence of professional runway models while others spoke on their down right disgust over the poor quality of the designers collections. However, some came to Bet’s defense stating that it simply, “Is what it is, and that music shouldn’t be involved with all that ‘model stuff’ in the first place.” Well, here’s what I had to say:
“First off, I’d like to say POWER to our African American leaders for taking the initiative to formulate such a powerful and impact-ful Fashion Series that our youth have grown to look up to year after year. However, I am wholeheartedly convinced that this “Rip the Runway” phenomenon has evolved into nothing more then a circus. As I thought on its purpose, I sat and imagined the producers merely planning a duplication to the Bryant Park showcases produced about a week before this broadcast, simply to highlight and prove the distinctness and cleverness of our crafts. Instead, they’ve evolved the majority of viewers into disgruntled blogger’s who’ve just about had it with the mis-representation that they’ve exploited to the fashion industry for blacks. Leaving another hand full of us curious folk wondering, thinking- how in the hell could a national, and internationally respected broadcast company not place a higher standard on the coordination of this fashion showcase. Not to mention, it is an annual and highly looked-up to exhibition!
Due to BET’s highly recognizable name, they have clearly represented the majority of African American fashion folk by default. This end result has place an unfortunate ridicule on the legitimacy of our professionalism in the fashion industry and has nonetheless re-birthed horrible stereotypes that relate us back to our tough times of the early 90’s. Cheap, unpolished and sadly(I hate using this word)- Ghetto. Stereotypes that we’ve fought hard to overcome. BET has allowed this mis-representation to take place as if it wasn’t already hard enough for Black aspirer’s to get their toes wet within this improper industry. Nonetheless, BET has aided the general fashion industry in their prevalent efforts at casting African Americans as a lower level of talent, meanwhile- adding to our catastrophic industry overflow. Check out just what I have to say about that here in my previous story:
So furthermore, without dis-mantling and ripping the Casting directors a new as*hole, I will confess that I do know and RESPECT them by name. I have also worked with them on many other projects- several times, so therefore I can confirm that it is usually ALWAYS race over resume :-/. I don’t know about you, but I could tell they grabbed “Lil Ray-ray” and his gowns from around the corner as opposed to holding a casting for the designers along with the models.
All in all, I wish BET well in their continuing efforts of showcasing, in their words, “Black Fashion. So Fly”. Meanwhile, peep the Ebony Fashion Fair as they set the highest standard for productions geared at African-American High Fashion Runway!- Well, atleast I think so..”
Tony Triumph 😎