A Brazilian fashion designer has caused controversy during Sao Paulo Fashion Week with a show in which models wore wigs made of steel wool inspired by afro hair.
The issue of racism on Brazilian catwalks is not new. In 2009, Brazilian prosecutors and the organisers of Sao Paulo Fashion Week reached a deal over claims that too few black and mixed-race models were taking part.
The ‘afro’ wigs were created by Ronaldo Fraga, in partnership with make-up artist Marcos Costa, for the presentation of Fraga’s spring-summer 2013-2014 collection.
Costa has defended the ‘afro’ design on Facebook:
“We wanted to show the beauty of Afro hair and how it can be sculpted. It was a way to subvert a prejudice rooted in Brazilian culture. Why do black people need to straighten their hair? They are beautiful.”
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