Trayvon Martin’s death and the “suspicious” hoodie he was wearing at the time he was shot has made the circumstances surrounding the teen’s death as much about fashion as it is about race, with everyone from politicians, entertainers, and athletes weighing in on the killing.
Fashion designer Tracy Reese has joined the discussion and she says the attention being placed on Trayvon Martin’s hoodie as the cause of his death is bogus.
“The whole thing is just so sad, and the excuses are so lame,” she told The Huffington Post Black Voices at the launch of her Clos du Bois Chic Picnique in New York City. “Young men of color can’t be targets.”
To an extent, Tracy said her introduction to the fashion world mimicked what Trayvon experienced the night he was killed, as she talked about the discrimination she experienced as a student at the Parsons School of Fashion. She mentioned going to different stores to look at their merchandise for class “shopping reports” and said she wasn’t always received well by employees.
“I would notice when I went out, that I was being shadowed sometimes, and it used to irritate me,” she said. “But at the end of the day I was in a public place, and it was my right to be there. We should feel free to be wherever we want to be.”
Furthermore, we should feel free to wear whatever we want to wear without fear of posing a threat, she added.
“White people wear hoodies too. It’s so sad that people want to be in fear of you just because you’re a young man of color.”