Korean Designer, Lie Sang Bond is stirring up controversy as he becomes the latest designer to use white models with brown painted faces in his runway show. During Paris Fashion Week, Bond presented his Fall 2012 Ready to Wear collection with 39 different looks wherein each model had the same brown painted circle covering a large portion of their faces. The ‘blackface’ he sent down the runway has offended many, with several critics asserting that the practice is racist and shouldn’t be considered ‘art.’ The racial implication of blackface arguably makes it much more than an artful expression. During minstrel shows, white actors painted their faces black and performed racist black stereotypes as entertainment. I don’t think Bond’s intentions were to play on an ugly part in Black American History, but when will designers learn that painting a white person’s face black or brown will never be a fashion statement?
What are your thoughts on Bond’s blackface? Do you find it offensive even if it’s “just art?”