Online fashion store ASOS came under fire last week after Twitter users pointed out that the retail site hosted the ridiculously named brand ‘It’s A Hoodrat Thing’ in their marketplace. It’s unclear exactly what caused social media users to notice that the brand, which had been sold on the site since January, existed. But notice they did.
ASOS quickly responded to a user that the brand had been removed from its site, but the real question here is how it even ended up there in the first place—especially since, as Us Weekly reported on Monday, the brand claimed to have been chosen by ASOS as one of its ‘One To Watch’ lines. (Yet another ‘I’m not sorry until I get called out for it’ episode of cultural appropriation.
A little background on ‘It’s A Hoodrat Thing’: It’s ran by two white women, Frankie and Nina. The self-proclaimed "hip hop loving, wannabe gangstas" were "inspired" by “a love of vintage clothing and 90s R&B” and decided to launch this really offensively named brand with very mediocre clothing. The two sold items with cliche hip hop phrases like a "Nothing But A Gee Thang" t-shirt or a "Gangsta’s Paradise" denim jacket, and of course a signature "Hoodrat" mesh cropped tee.
They also say they believe in “the importance of own your own individuality" — ironic, since they're exploiting stereotypes and fetishing blackness. They also don't seem to know—or care— that "hoodrat" is a derogatory term making fun of women from poor neighborhoods.
This is yet another example of white people stealing from black culture without actually investing in or understanding it—much like the white woman who made a ‘feminist streetwear brand’ in Bushwick filled with her favorite rap lyrics on a t-shirt because 'she could.'"
A quick tip for 2017: If you have to think twice about whether or not you’ll be offensive or don’t have any friends of color who can tell you why you’re wrong…probably, don’t do it?
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.