Angry readers are slamming Vogue Italy with charges of racism for running a feature on its Website promoting "slave earrings."They later claimed there was something lost in translation.
The article, published on Vogue.it on Aug. 5, hyped the trend of glamorously oversized circular earrings and featured a photo of a runway model sporting a pair of hubcap-sized hoops.
"Jewelry has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops," the typo-riddled blurb said.
"If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of color who were brought to the southern Unites States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom."
The controversial piece ran under the title "Slave earrings," and called them "a classic always in evolution."
Although the piece was live for more than two weeks, fashion blogs and social media sites erupted on Sunday and Monday with charges that Vogue Italia was glamorizing slavery.
"We apologize for the inconvenience. It is a matter of really bad translation from Italian into English," editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani told Britain's Telegraph. "The Italian word, which defines those kind of earrings, should instead be translated into "ethnical style earrings."
The title of the piece, which is still live, was changed to "Ethnic earrings."
The blurb still references the slave trade, but the word "slave" was removed.