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article imageStory on black fashion and Obamas in French Elle mag offends many

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 27, 2012 in Lifestyle
The French version of Elle magazine published a piece last week by their fashion writer/blogger Nathalie Dolivo that is causing a flap this week. In essence Dolivo said the black community in the U.S. lacked real fashion sense until the Obamas arrived.
The passage from the piece that has offended perhaps the most reads: "In this America, led for the first time by a black president, chic has become a plausible option for a community (the African-American community) that up until now pegged to its streetwear codes." Dolivo also wrote that since the arrival of the Obamas on the scene black fashion has grown by adopting "white codes of fashion."
Reaction from Elle's French editor
With a storm of negative reaction to Dolivos's remarks, the French Elle has taken the story down from its website but has not apologized. The Italian version of Vogue magazine reports that Elle's french editor-in-chief, Valérie Toranian, has stated that the influence of Michelle Obama on black fashion in America was comparable to the influence Kate Middleton has had on fashion in the U.K. or Jackie Kennedy on American fashion in the 60's.
Toranian, Vogue Italia said, did not apologize for the piece but said it was misinterpreted and that Elle's goal was not to generalize. Of the many who have criticized the piece, Clair Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily said African-Americans are "not one monolithic group to be written about like zoo animals," Huffington Post writer Julee Wilson said the piece was "misguided" while Canada's Fashion Magazine wrote "Dolivo’s career should meet its fate at the guillotine".
Elle originated in France in 1945 and now has dozens of international editions and is in some 60 countries. Over the years it has been one of the world's most read fashion magazines.
More about black fashion and the obamas, african american fashion, elle magazine france, vogue italia
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