Vogue Brazil Fashion Director Quits Over Photos That Evoke Slavery Era

Vogue Brazil Fashion Director Quits Over Photos That Evoke Slavery Era

RIO DE JANEIRO — The fashion director of Vogue magazine’s Brazil edition has resigned following an outcry over photographs from her 50th birthday that critics saw as an allusion to race relations during the colonial era, when Brazil relied heavily on slave labor.

The executive, Donata Meirelles, who is white, posted the photographs on her Instagram account, where she appears smiling broadly sitting on an ornate chair flanked by two black women wearing elaborate white dresses.

Many Brazilians saw the images, taken in the predominantly black state of Bahia, as a throwback to Brazil’s colonial era, when light-skinned elites enslaved millions of black people of African descent. Now, just over half of Brazilians identify as black or of mixed racial background, but discrimination remains a powerful force in the country.

Vogue’s Brazil edition addressed the matter in a message: “Regarding the manifestations about Donata Meirelles’s 50th birthday party, Vogue Brasil regrets profoundly what happened and hopes the debate generated serves as a source of learning.”

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