Elle Magazine Credits Black Culture For Timberland Fashion Trend
Elle Mag recently got PUT ON BLAST on Twitter for a story where they labeled Timberland boots (which have been around FOREVER) the next big thing since White American finally discovered the existed.
Now the magazine is taking back the claims and adding some dark-skinned context to the Timberland narrative:
Via ELLE Magazine reports:
Earlier this month, ELLE.com published a trend story about the mainstream resurgence of Timberlands, featuring a slideshow of celebrities (Rihanna, North West, and Gwen Stefani, to name a few) wearing the classic work boot. Our fashion editor, Danielle Prescod, predicted an “ascent to fashion greatness” for the Timberland, similar to the way Adidas’ Stan Smith and the Birkenstock have been re-embraced by the fashion world. Many felt the story ignored the shoe’s roots as a staple of hip-hop style in the ’90s, and the backlash on Twitter was swift and furious. This is how we met writer Chaédria LaBouvier. Here, her thoughts on Timberlands, Twitter, and trends.
It was the article heard round the timelines of (Black) Twitter. I, like so many others, wasted no time in telling ELLE what I thought, in 140 characters or less.
Could it all have been left to a “here we go again?” Or, “Is this another teachable moment about appropriation?” Or, perhaps, “Appropriation has been happening all season. Don’t act like it’s brand new, Chaédria?” Perhaps. But it was more personal than that. It wasn’t just another instance of being excluded from the narrative. It felt like people were being excluded from the narrative because they weren’t rich enough, famous enough and, mostly, because they weren’t White enough.
Some might say, “Well, do we have to include history in every trend?” But I ask, “What do you lose by not including the history in a trend?” A trend is nothing more than a classic re-imagined in the creativity of the times. And if fashion is an impassioned study of this, and style its expression, how much more rich is the conversation when we include the current trendsetters alongside the original creators? What could happen when we more actively pull everyone into the story? We have everything to gain by hearing the stories of why hip-hop loved Timberlands rivaled only by Jordans. I mean, I’d personally love to hear how women in the ’90s repurposed Timberlands with sex appeal and edginess. After all, unlike the Manolo Blahnik Timberland, inclusivity is always in style.
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