How anti-Semitism is spreading in the fashion scene
Fans of Palestinian model Bella Hadid spread conspiracy theories and call for a boycott of the Dior brand. And you also encounter resentment and hatred in magazines and among influencers.
SAfter the Hamas terror in Israel, the situation in the fashion world remained calm for a long time. Suspiciously quiet for a bubble that has been happy to make high-profile political statements for at least a few years, it has declared sustainability in the spirit of climate protection as its top priority and is decorating its accounts with black tiles (after the murder of George Floyd) or blue and yellow wreaths after the attack on Ukraine.
The news only became louder after the incident involving model Bella Hadid, who attracted attention with frequent anti-Semitic slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” But instead of criticizing the 27-year-old, the model receives support. Bella Hadid is followed by 61 million people on Instagram. Last year she was one of the most booked models on the international catwalks and, even with her cyborg features, she helped shape the prevailing beauty ideal for an entire generation. In the past, many women asked their plastic surgeon to have Bella cheekbones or lips.
Hadid has repeatedly made anti-Israel comments in the past and has publicly accused Israel of oppressing Palestinians. In May 2021, he walked alongside a Palestinian demonstration in New York waving a Palestinian flag and shouting slogans and posted videos of it on his Instagram account. Now the model’s fans have spread that the contract between her and Dior Beauty has been canceled after the Hamas attack. In a wave of shit, a boycott of Dior was then called for. A short time later, a simple internet search revealed that Hadid would no longer be the face of the brand as of 2022.
With this conspiracy theory, anti-Semitic propaganda has now reached the world of fashion, uses familiar clichés from the dark decades of the last century and turns against the greatest representative of the sector. Dior is the flagship of the LVMH group, whose head Bernard Arnault was until recently the richest man in the world. Arnault himself does not come from a Jewish family, although this is often stated. But he built his empire with the support of the Jewish banker Antoine Bernheim, who was something of a mentor to Arnault until his death.
A few weeks ago a sensational accident occurred at the American “Harper’s Bazaar”. Editor-in-chief Samira Nasr criticized the Israeli reaction to the Hamas massacre with very harsh words. Publisher Hearst Magazines then sent an internal memo to employees clarifying that Nasr’s comments “do not represent Hearst’s values.” However, there were no external statements from the publisher about the incident and Nasr was also allowed to keep her job. A few days ago in this country, Deborah Middelhoff, the Jewish editor-in-chief of three lifestyle magazines at Saisonn Verlag, resigned from her post because she no longer felt safe in Germany. “Due to my membership in the Jewish religious community and the current developments in Germany, I have decided to move the center of my life abroad,” she said in a statement from the publisher.
Slogans meaning the destruction of Israel
And the influencers’ silence is slowly breaking. However, this is often evident in pro-Palestinian statements. The mega-influencer Camille Charriere, for example, a French woman living in Great Britain who writes for the British magazine “Elle”, is a confidante of famous designers such as Jacquemus and Nensi Dojanka and has 1.4 million followers on Instagram, recently is filmed at a Palestinian demonstration in London and shared the video on her Instagram stories. You did not mention Hamas terrorism in this context.
Anti-Semitism is also evident among other influencers, previously hidden in stories. Amidst the cream interiors and oatmeal beige color schemes, the black, red and green flags of Palestine or the slogans “Free Palestine” wave again and again, which in turn mean nothing other than the destruction of Israel. As a follower, all that remains is the horror that, while one may agree that Tabi shoes may have been one of fashion’s ugliest inventions, there are obviously fundamentally different assumptions about the right of the State of Israel to to exist.
The lack of responsibility towards one’s platform is now becoming fertile ground for widespread anti-Semitism. Palestinian flags and slogans pile up in the comments and are rarely removed or not removed at all. Today, hatred is allowed to spread uncontrollably, casting its shadow on beauty, elegance and style. And so even the faces of top models sooner or later turn into grimaces.