Recently, Pakistani clothing brand Sana Safinaz’s was heavily criticised for a ‘racist’ lawn campaign that allegedly ‘used’ native Africans and their culture as props.
This is some super racist bakwas. Pakistani Family/friends -this is dehumanizing and unacceptable in every aspect. No designer lawn is worth being held accountable in front of Allah for perpetuating the dehumanization of other human beings. Imagine yourself being used like this. Like a prop. The imagery is so colonial. And the comparison to animals. The usage of their textile. So much is wrong here. For my non Pakistani friends- @SanaSafinaz is a designer brand which is sold internationally. #SanaSafinaz Also watched their video ad just now. Your “azadi cannot be on the backs of others. Your azadi can never be bought through buying ultra expensive cloth—cloth that the industry jacked up the prices on so low/mid income women who work in the heat can’t even afford it. Are you Azad if your azadi is about flaunting $ around the underprivileged. This is neocolonial capitalist-feminist trash too. This is not azadi. Hit their pockets because that’s where it hurts them the most #Boycottsanasafinaz
The pictures that offended in the Sana Safinaz campaign…are they wrong? Yes completely. Indigenous populations doing acts of servitude should never be a theme in an advertisement. It reeks of racism. However ask yourself this how many of your friends when they travel to Africa won’t let the locals carry your bags or pose with the Masai for a pic like their tribal rituals are a song and dance show? Isn’t Sana Safinaz selling the very dream most of our population has, that of being the brown sahib? Ask yourself when this is wrong for them to do it why is it right for us to live in some sort of quasi white wannabe frame throughout our lives…if that guy with an umbrella offends you stop the lady with the little kid at the back carrying her kids in dolmen mall also…#fashion #sanasafinaz #lawnmadness
Time to talk abt the elephant in the room. What were #sanasafinaz thinking with these images? I have to admit that when I saw the teasers for this African campaign I liked it – and then I saw these images from the catalogue. Seriously?! You go to Africa, a vibrant, exciting, rapidly developing place and you don’t use Africans as models, you don’t even use images of the dedicated, highly educated rangers on the safari parks. You use tribal type images. Not powerful images that reflect the rich history of Africa but colonial type images ?. And that image of the African child in the second pic? I don’t get it. SS Lawn campaigns are no strangers to controversy (remember the coolies at the railway station) but based on the international mood, this is the most tone deaf campaign in a long time. SS love you guys and love your clothes but wtf @sanasafinazofficial
Sana Safinaz finally broke the silence and responded to criticism.
“Recently, Sana Safinaz launched its new collection. This was inspired by the colours and traditional fashions of Africa.”
“The team at Sana Safinaz travelled to Kenya to experience the culture and lives of the Masai people first hand. We also organised a shoot to support the new collection and employed local people. We are proud of the work we did with the Masai, especially the women and stand by it,” they said.
Sana Safinaz also stated that the funds provided by them would go towards the building of a school thus, promoting education.
“We have worked hard to build a positive reputation in the industry and have been fortunate to have our hard work recognised. We are not infallible and neither are we strangers to controversy… We want to categorically state that at no point did we intend to offend anyone,” the brand added.
“We do apologise deeply for any offence we have caused, despite this never being our intention. We have subsequently also removed any offending images from our social media.”