Not very well known Russian fashion designer Ulyana Sergeenko became famous for all the wrong reason this morning when she was called out for a hand-written note she sent to fashion blogger Miroslava Duma that read “to my niggas in Paris.” Duma in turn posted it on Instagam stories and from there all hell broke loose.
A$AP Rocky stylist Matthew Henson weighed in on Instagram stories, tagging Duma and Sergeenko with a screen capture of the note with a message that read, “You can’t use this word.”
Rather than apologize, Sergeenko attempted to justify use of the slur, explaining she meant no harm and was simply expressing her appreciation for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s controversial single “Ni**as in Paris.”
“I was born in a small town in East Kazakhstan, my daughter is half Armenian,” wrote Sergeenko for some unknown reason. “I never divided people on white or black. Kanye West is one of my favorite musicians and BP is one of my most favorite songs.”
Pushing the cringe-factor meter to 100, she added, “And yes we call each other the N word sometimes when we want to believe we are just as cool as these guys who sing it.” (Oh no baby, what is you doin’??)
At the same time, Duma followed up with an apology, writing, “I sincerely apologize for my regrettable Instagram that went out,” adding she regretted posting it and was very sorry.
This isn’t the first time the single has caused an uproar. When the single first released in 2012, Gwenyth Paltrow created an uproar when she responded on Twitter to an image of herself dancing at a Jay-Z and West concert in Paris, “Ni**as in paris for real.”
Perhaps lacking the historical context the word, fashion people in Europe seem particularly dense around not just use of racial slurs, but also black face and issues related to theft of design ideas. As such, there is a tendency to react defensively when a simply apology is all that is needed.
Check out the various exchanges below. Yes, Sergeenko’s mentions are a shit show as they should be.