Forever 21 manages to aggravate Wakandans.
H&M was in hot water after promoting their "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle" sweater, and that was understandable. The brand placed a young black boy in the sweater, sparking outrage and prompting The Weeknd to leave the brand. While society's anger at the monkey sweater makes sense, a new beef against Forever 21 seems a bit unnecessary. The clothing company decided to sell ugly Christmas sweaters, along with most of their competition. Opting to stand out, Forever 21 put together a Black Panther themed sweater that reads "Wakanda Forever." Fans of the comic book and film became enraged on Tuesday after it was discovered that Forever 21 placed a blonde hair blue eyed model in the sweater for advertisement.
While Forever 21 could have placed a Black model in the sweater, placing a white man in the ad doesn't seem like a big issue. It's definitely an ill-advised marketing move, but the controversy has offended many. Black Panther was a world-shaking movie, one that influenced all edges of culture. The whitest faces and the blackest faces around the world enjoyed the film, so anyone could be a fan. If Black Panther taught us anything, it's that Black culture can push a brand past a billion dollars. If anything, being enraged that a white person is wearing the sweater seems counter-productive and somewhat negatively racially motivated. Still, Forever 21 took down the add and apologized for offending anyone via TMZ.
"Forever 21 takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously," the company stated. "We celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities and apologize if the photo in question was offensive in any way." To be honest, a country that wasn't colonized by Europeans might not celebrate traditional Christmas anyway. Happy Holidays!