Australian headscarf brand Moga has decided to use its own customers in its next advertising campaign – with one exception: white women.
When label, issued a call for applications on Facebook, saying it is on the lookout for “fresh and exciting new faces”, Creative Director Azahn Munas knew his decision to exclude white models from the brand’s future promotional campaigns would spark controversy.
”Sorry, ladies, we think you are absolutely gorgeous but, unfortunately, this one’s not for you, keeping in line with a new company policy that we will no longer be showing Caucasian faces in our advertising”, read the announcement.
Not surprisingly, the news quickly got a strong reaction on social media, and the Sri Lanka-born designer published a blog post on Medium explaining the decision.
“Before you accuse me of being a racist, please hear me out”, he wrote. “I know I am not alone in thinking that all faces are beautiful, but sadly, the current representation of race and ethnicity in the fashion industry suggests otherwise”.
— Pica Pau Reaça RN 🔴⚫🐃 (@PPReacaRN) July 18, 2018
The MOGA team also sent out press releases, a short video, articles from brand ambassadors, and social media posts further outlining their decision to exclude white women. They say they are making a concerted effort to bring awareness to the over dominance of white models in fashion advertisements, and to provide more opportunity for models of color who are often overlooked.
Munas added that Moga’s customer base is diverse and that the new policy does not intend to drive Caucasian customers away from the brand’s products: “I would like to remind everyone that our scarves are to be worn by anyone, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Moga’s customers range from trendy Muslim hijabsters, festival goers, black girls, chemo patients and drag queens”.
He also stressed that the new policy is not intended to last forever. MOGA does want to see how long they can keep it going for though, and will be assessing the impact of the decision on the brand.