Courtesy of Lingua Franca.
Lingua Franca founder Rachelle Hruska MacPherson is the subject of a new interview from The Cut.
Described as “a subversive underground movement to counteract the forces of mass production, mindless consumerism, and the patriarchy. Just kidding (kind of),” on its website, Lingua Franca includes apparel for kids, women and men, most notably embroidered sweaters with different phrases.
Among some of the sweaters the fashion brand offers are those embroidered with hip-hop lyrics. From the Notorious B.I.G. (“It was all a dream”) to A Tribe Called Quest (“Can I kick it?“) the sweaters are not only cashmere but hand embroidered once the order has been placed. Oh, and they’re also $380 each.
According to The Cut interview, Hruska MacPherson’s Lingua Franca was pratically born out of her creating sweaters with embroidered hip-hop lyrics for her friends and family after she made one of her own with “Booyah” written on it.
Hruska MacPherson has been questioned about her embroidered hip-hop lyrics sweaters before. As The Cut notes:
Hruska MacPherson recounts an interview in which a journalist asked her about being a rich white woman embroidering hip-hop lyrics onto cashmere. Her response was, “What would you like me to do? Not celebrate these lyrics, not give money, not do anything with my life?”
As self-aware as Hruska MacPherson tries to present herself to be (she remarks how Trump’s January 2017 travel ban affected three F.I.T. students from Iran who were sewing for her, and how that “was the first time in my white privileged life I had politics affect me”), how she views her use of hip-hop lyrics in making a profit shows the opposite. B.I.G. and A Tribe Called Quest aren’t even accounted for, their names not mentioned anywhere in the descriptions for the sweaters.
And yes, it is great to see that Lingua Franca has donated to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, Harlem Grown, the Equal Justice Initiative and other organizations (as shown on the fashion brand’s “Give A Damn” link). However, that doesn’t absolve Hruska MacPherson of being tone deaf in how she uses hip-hop culture.
Source: The Cut