Moncler’s latest collection has some, shall we say, surprising inspiration. Social media is reacting to the rather blatant golliwog doll inspiration with "WYD Moncler?" and hand-on-cheek emojis at the latest selection of products on Moncler’s website.
The image was used on sweaters, tees, polo shirts and accessories.
Judging from a video Moncler posted on Facebook, the golliwog image appears to be the central logo for their collection. And, judging from an Instagram post of theirs, it's prominently featured on their accessories as well.
Earlier on today, the goods all appeared on the site, although they were all sold out. Now it looks like they’ve removed the pieces from the site totally.
If you need to know more about the golliwog doll, it's part of an old school racist tradition and closely linked to minstrels and blackface. All of those traded off exaggerated takes on black people's features, but the golliwog doll became very popular in the UK, wider Europe and Australia.
The golliwog was originally introduced by Florence Kate Upton, a children's author. The author’s popularity in the UK means there's still small parts of the UK population who cling onto the dolls. The shortened version of golliwog also became a slur for black people, perhaps most famously used by Eric Clapton during a drunken racist speech at one of his concerts when he told all "wogs" to go home.
So, in short, using a golliwog as inspiration is bizarre at best, given its history and racist connotations.
What do you think about Moncler's latest "inspiration?" Let us know in the comments below.
[UPDATE] July 15, 2016 10:40 a.m. EST The actual image is part of a collaboration with art collective Friendswithyou. The main logo was originally used on a penguin plush toy, but the facial features still distinctly seem to copy the main features of blackface imagery.
Friendswithyou say that they "seek to redesign spirituality, rituals, and religious acts for modern day usage and connectivity." So it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that the thinking behind the original piece was to "reclaim" racist imagery. So while we've mistaken where exactly the image was from, the main issue with the image still remains.