Afros = Ghetto?

What do you do when you take a multi-billion dollar brand that is basically all about the accessories, pair it with fashion week and afro wigs? Ghetto Fabulous! Those were the words that UK mag Grazia chose to use while describing the Spring/Summer 2010 Louis Vuitton collection:

“Check out those giant Afro wigs! This is like ghetto fabulous! Tweed jackets were ladylike with big patch pockets reminiscent of safari jackets. Plus lots of neutral parkas over miniskirts and more outerwear than we expected for the summer.”

Okay. Since I have an afro (a mini one)…I am now ghetto fabulous. Simon Garfunkel? Jewy-Ghetto.Fab. Lenny Kravitz? Boho-Ghetto Fab. Bob Ross? Paintbrush Ghetto Fab (RIP). The list goes on and on! Why did I not realize how ghetto fabulous I was before until this day? Where have I BEEN? I am truly enlightened now.

Seriously, this goes to show how a popular term coined by a particular culture/group/race can be misused and misunderstood by other parties. Afro = Black = Ghetto Fab? To be clear, there is nothing wrong with “ghetto” in the sense of a neighborhood. Seeing as how designers consistently rely on the styles that are born in lower-income neighborhoods, can we give the ghetto it’s proper due? And if not, can we at least use the term correctly? All things African/African American/Black don’t have to be “ghetto fab,” “funky,” “ethnic,” “soulful,” or “urban.” While every adjective has its place, consistently putting the style of one race into a box is limiting and ignorant. Personally, When I think if ghetto fabulous I imagine old-school doorknockers paired with a Gucci bag—a mix of high-low with a nod to the street. There is nothing “street” about LV’s spring collection—it was an awful parade of “eh” bags, horrible “left over from the 70’s” clothes and shoes that look like they could eat you. I’ll take the fabulous, but keep the ghetto to yourself.

Thanks to Najwa for buzzing us about this!

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington

  • ANDEAN

    I agree JB!!! i am already burned out over the misusage of the word- this just adds salt to the wound!

  • I agree with you 100%. That’s just ignorant people talking.