Interested in responding to Vogue Italia's appropriately titled "Haute Mess" spread that garnered much public backlash, Ladygunn Magazine recently released their "Chola!" spread. In this spread, the models have been styled in Dickies pants, doorknocker earrings and, of course, very dark lipliner. Koko Ntuen, editor-in-Chief of Ladygunn, insists that the caricatures exhibited in the spread are not meant to be parodies at all, but rather "show the beauty of other cultures."
Ntuen is a woman of color herself, which is almost never the case in these instances of the magazine editors that sign off on publishing spreads such as these. When describing her choice of the "endearing" word "chola," the editor replied, "I think it's something like that can be embraced by everyone, just like how the term "nigga," [has] been embraced, especially by younger generations." In fact, Ntuen not only stands by her "Chola!" spread, but thinks that a "N***a" spread would be just as valid:
"I don't know if I would be comfortable running a fashion story called, "Nigga!" because people would be like, "What?" [Laughs.] But I think if we did, and we did it tastefully, who knows, maybe it could sit well. I just feel like all these words are being desensitized, and I like what's happening so they don’t hurt anyone anymore."
Are those denouncing spreads such as "Haute Mess" and "Chola!" justified in their outrage, or do they simply not have a high enough tolerance for high fashion concepts?