Designer Tory Burch has been a topic of heated conversation this week for a video ad entitled “Tory Story: An American Road Trip,” in which the American fashion brand features model Poppy Delevigne and two other Caucasian models dancing to the popular hip hop song “Juju On That Beat” by Black rappers Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall.
It’s no surprise to us to see a fashion company using solely white models in an ad but it was a bit of a shock to see Delevigne and the other two models dancing along to the song without out one Black model included. And it was even more shocking to see a handbag shaped like a monkey in the backseat of the car and also seen on the yacht with the models throughout the video.
Here’s a look for yourself:
Quite honestly, the ad left us speechless — and the Internet didn’t hold back with their outrage.
The video, which was directed by Italian fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, described it as “very colorful, playful, elegant and really Americana” on her website. The irony of an Italian interpreting Americana is quite interesting.
Additionally, Engelbert shared why she chose the song “Juju On That Beat.”
“I wanted the video to be playful and as chic as possible and to put you in a very good mood. ‘Juju on That Beat’ is a happy song; I like the fact that it is a very easy song, too,” she noted.
The 30-second video has since been removed from Tory Burch’s website and social media. The #ToryStory (the original hashtag for the video) URL now redirects to the brand’s Spring Must-Haves page, and the original blog page shows an error message.
Tory Burch released the following statement to Vogue UK today:
The video was intended to celebrate music that we love with our spring collection. It was never meant to be insensitive in any way. We have removed the video from our channels. I personally feel very badly if this hurt anyone and I am truly sorry.