M&S trolled for lingerie range 'inspired by George Floyd'
The death of George Floyd in police custody sparked a movement across the globe, inspiring protests against police brutality and racial injustice. British retail giant Marks & Spencer launched an "inclusive" range of lingerie partly inspired by the "global conversation on racial inequality" following Floyd's tragic death in Minneapolis last year. However, the move appears to have backfired.
The retailer included five new shades to its collection of neutral or nude-colored underwear, in order to accommodate different skin tones instead of focusing on lighter hues. M&S said its previous products were "inconsistent and inadequate for all ethnicities" M&S said its previous products were "inconsistent and inadequate for all ethnicities" and that "the terms nude and neutral have generally been used for lighter skin tones."
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According to the Daily Mail, the retailer named the new colors after gemstones such as 'Topaz' and 'Amber' after receiving "clear customer feedback" against names such as 'Tobacco'. The new shade names are said to signify "things that are special and precious."
With its new line of lingerie, M&S joined a string of brands that have responded to the debate around racial inequality, such as Kim Kardashian's Skims, Rihanna's Fenty range, Cuup, Nubian Skin, and Knix.
Nonetheless, social media users were outraged. Many called out the High Street giant for the controversial move and invoked Floyd's allegedly criminal past. ""Underwear inspired by George Floyd." Once you put on a pair of knickers you feel the need to enter a pregnant woman's home with a gun & rob her?" political commentator David Atherton tweeted.
"This is not just any lingerie... this is M&S underwear 'inspired by George Floyd' Truly we’ve gone where no underwear has gone before Knickers that take Fentanyl, & a bra that holds the lady hostage at gunpoint It’s not just any underwear," one Twitter user wrote. "Do you have to be off your knackers on amphetamines and hold pregnant women at gunpoint to wear them? I don’t see that catching on," another added.
"Is this a joke...... I wasn't aware George Floyd wore ladies' underwear?" one quipped. "Wonder if B&Q are planning on having a range of shovels and trowels inspired by Fred West?" another commented. "Is M&S going to make bulletproof maternity wear "inspired by George Floyd" too?" a comment read.
"Underwear inspired by George Floyd."— David Atherton (@DaveAtherton20) June 22, 2021
Once you put on a pair of knickers you feel the need to enter a pregnant woman's home with a gun & rob her? https://t.co/4lgWVCPwDv
This is not just any lingerie... this is M&S underwear 'inspired by George Floyd'— The Dude (@ElDuderino5555) June 22, 2021
Truly we’ve gone where no underwear has gone before
Knickers that take Fentanyl, & a bra that holds the lady hostage at gunpoint
It’s not just any underwear ...
Do you have to be off your knackers on amphetamines and hold pregnant women at gun point to wear them?— Simon.MountV (@MountvSimon) June 22, 2021
I don’t see that catching on.
M&S underwear 'inspired by George Floyd' https://t.co/fsDYSKv2V0 via @Femail
Is this a joke...... I wasn't aware George Floyd wore ladies underwear?? 😳— Delilah (@Sazzer1959) June 22, 2021
Is M&S going to make bulletproof maternity wear "inspired by George Floyd" too? 🤔https://t.co/acPsxEbQAM— Col is Right (@Col_is_Right) June 22, 2021
The new collection is part of what M&S has touted as a "bold and relevant" campaign called Nothing Neutral About It. The retail giant recently launched a collection of post-surgery bras for women who have had a mastectomy and has featured "representative models" in its ad campaigns.
M&S lingerie director Laura Charles explained that the decision came after "customers and colleagues told us we hadn't got it right when it came to color – both in the choices available and the way we talked about the neutral shades." According to her, being the market leader comes with "a responsibility to ensure what we sell makes all of our customers feel fantastic." She added, "The global conversations around race and equality over the last 12 months spurred us to go faster."