Image courtesy of Essence
In a rather controversial statement, writer, stylist and cultural critic Michaela Angela Davies tweeted of her dismay when she learned that Essence magazine had hired a white fashion director. "It is with a heavy, heavy heart I have learned that Essence magazine has engaged a white fashion director, this hurts, literally, spiritually," she announced.
The tweet by Davies - who worked as fashion director at Essence, was the founding fashion director of Vibe and also held the position of editor-in-chief at Honey - was only the beginning of the backlash that has ensued since, as she told Clutch her immediate reaction to the hiring. "I am so hurt and confused and frankly angry by this news. I feel like a girlfriend has died."
If the hiring hadn't caused enough controversy, her comments certainly have, and so Davies explained her reasoning on Facebook; "It is personal and it's also professional," she admitted, "If there were balance in the industry; if we didn't have a history of being ignored and disrespected; if more mainstream fashion media included people of colour before the ONE magazine dedicated to black women 'diversified', it would feel different."