Request that Big Uncle remove their 'Colonial Deal' collection

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I came across the 'Colonial Deal' collection created by Italian luxury brand, Big Uncle. This brand, founded in 2014, defines itself as being based on a 'strong identity' that 'tells the story of metropolitan lives and travels around the world, where inspiration is then found in every collection'.

Founders, Sabino Lebba and Riccardo Moroni both have failed to understand how important the concept of identity is, judging by their latest collection, which depicts male models wearing items of clothing emblazoned with 'colonialism', amongst other items in the 'Colonial Deal' collection. Both fashion designers seem blatantly unaware of the continuing legacy of racism, oppression and poverty which 'colonialism' has created. Whether their views are misguided or downright racist, I cannot argue, however they appear to have a complete lack of understanding for people of colour who continue to live with the intergenerational trauma that lingers today in all pockets of society, particularly in their own country of origin, Italy, where racism, prejudice and discriminatory behaviour continues, with the most recent migrant shooting in Macerata being a stark reminder of this.

When quizzed about the justification behind their collection from various people who deemed the collection to be offensive, Big Uncle responded that they were inviting customers to 'think about it', and deemed the collection to a 'post-modern' approach to addressing words as 'signified and signifiers'. Despite this, neither them nor their clothing or brand appears to undertake any activity to combat racism, prejudice or discrimination. This clothing appears to be a publicity tool

Under Article 3 of the Italian Constitution (courtesy of Comune Bologna), 

All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions. It is the duty of the Republic to remove those obstacles of an economic or social nature which constrain the freedom and equality of citizens, thereby impeding the full development of the human person and the effective participation of all workers in the political, economic and social organisation of the country.

Italian translation:

Tutti i cittadini hanno pari dignità sociale e sono eguali davanti alla legge, senza distinzione di sesso, di razza, di lingua, di religione, di opinioni politiche, di condizioni personali e sociali. E` compito della Repubblica rimuovere gli ostacoli di ordine economico e sociale, che, limitando di fatto la libertà e l'eguaglianza dei cittadini, impediscono il pieno sviluppo della persona umana e l'effettiva partecipazione di tutti i lavoratori all'organizzazione politica, economica e sociale del Paese.

This clothing is a direct embodiment of a systematic legacy which has historically robbed millions of people of colour of their equal social dignity, and by turning this product into a luxury item, the brand is thus capitalising off the notion of racism, and not addressing nor removing any obstacles of the economic or social nature which has constrained the freedom and equality of the millions of citizens who have been affected by colonialism, therefore going against this legislation.

As a mixed-race person who has lived, studied (L'università di Padova) and has family who live in Italy, I find it incredibly disheartening that this forward-thinking country continues to make grave mistakes by refusing to acknowledge the devastating effects of colonialism. Further reading here:

1) A History of Italian Colonialism

2) Italy's colonial fascism: Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia)

3) The on-going fascism that currently dominated Italian politics

 

Under Article 1 of Protocol No.12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:

The enjoyment of any right set forth by law shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

Under Article 2 of Chapter I of Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems:

"racist and xenophobic material" means any written material, any image or any other
representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred,
discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race,
colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as a pretext for any of these factors.

This clothing collection is a violation of the above legislation and therefore should be withdrawn from market immediately.

Please join me in calling on Big Uncle to withdraw their 'Colonial Deal' collection and issuing an official apology to all those who have been affected by their insensitive collection.

 



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