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If we’ve learned anything so far in 2014, it’s that Black History has quite a fluid definition for people in the fashion world.

Case in point? The Reformation’s Elena Rosenblatt. The eco-fashion brand’s producer posted an Instagram pic over the weekend eating fried chicken with the caption, “Happy black history month!”

Here’s a better pic:

According to the New York Observer, after many complaints, Rosenblatt’s rep issued a statement to the paper stating that she was at her African-American friend’s house when it happened. So apparently, it’s OK.

Ms Rosenblatt’s representative also noted to the Observer that the post “was removed as soon as Elana realized it might cause offense.” The representative also stated that Ms. Rosenblatt composed the original post while she “was at a party at an African American friend’s house.” At 3 pm on Saturday, some 36 hours after the original posting, Ms. Rosenblatt posted a thoughtful and sincere-sounding apology on her Facebook page, noting “I celebrate and respect all people regardless of race and I would never intentionally discriminate against anyone.”

Her apology on Facebook runs on the defensive side, but she still insists that the photo was innocent.

I would like to express my sincerest apologies to anyone that was hurt or offended by my instagram post last weekend. In no way, shape or form did I intend for that photo and comment to be racist. I celebrate and respect all people regardless of race and I would never intentionally discriminate against anyone. I was at a party in honor of Black History Month that evening, with friends of all different ethnic backgrounds, and I never meant for that photo to be interpreted in any other way. I acknowledge that my choice to Instagram that photo was in poor taste. I realize the impact that my words and actions can have, especially as part of a visible fashion brand.Thank you for the opportunity to apologize and to learn from my carelessness.

Despite Rosenblatt’s ignorance, Black History is worth more than a stereotype or a joke. As we wrap up the month, let’s remember that people hate what they don’t understand.

SOURCE: The New York Observer  | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram 

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