Ulyana Sergeenko came under fire on Tuesday afternoon.
Well, she sent a a bouquet of flowers to Miroslava Duma.
But… along with that arrangement of flowers came a handwritten note, stating:
“To my n*ggas in Paris.”
FYI, that line happens to be a reference to the Kanye West and Jay-Z song “N*ggas in Paris.”
And of course, Duma decided to take it to Instagram Stories to share the note, adding a heart emoji to show affection for the designer, who was also tagged in the story.
So what happened next?
A major social media outrage. That’s what.
But of course, it gets worse as later that evening, a rather disturbing video of Duma managed to surface.
The video was from 2012 and showed Duma making homophobic and transphobic comments about transgender model Andreja Pejić and blogger Bryanboy.
In the video, you’ll find Duma, speaking in Russian. But more importantly, you’ll find that she denounces both Bryanboy and Pejić as she believes that the two influencers should be censored as they could be considered harmful to the psyche of young children.
“We’re very concerned about the beauty and purity of the things we publish [at Buro 24/7].”
Following the comment, Duma also thanks God and says:
“there aren’t that many of them.”
A member of the audience also takes the opportunity to ask Duma a question:
“You mentioned Bryanboy and his style… he wears women’s clothing. Female fashion is being modelled by men now. What is your opinion on, say, Andreja Pejić, who advertises women’s swimsuits? Would you consider that normal?”
To this Duma replies:
“Honestly, I dislike that. Because somewhere, on TV or in a magazine, a little boy could see it and that boy wouldn’t understand it correctly, react correctly. I think a certain kind of censorship and refined culture is needed here.”
In a statement on Instagram, Duma says:
“As we all know, the world is evolving at an extraordinary pace, and we as humans evolve too. The person I was six years ago is not who I am today.”
“I’d like to formally apologise to any individuals or communities that I have offended. Similarly, I’d like to extend this apology to the professional organisations I am affiliated with. The comments I made are in no way representative of those organisations or their teams.”
Duma goes onto say:
“If any positive change is to come from recent events, I sincerely hope that the public discussions surrounding me might shine a light on the broader need to stamp out discrimination from society once and for all.”
She also notes:
“It is true that I come from a culture where words and attitudes may be different than the Western ideals that I, in fact, have come to understand and accept.”
This was the second apology issued by Duma in less than 24 hours.
Yesterday, Duma posted an apology on Instagram for posting Sergeenko’s racist note:
“I sincerely apologise for my regrettable Instagram story that went out. The phrase referenced is from a Kanye West and Jay-Z song by the same title. The word is utterly offensive and I regret promoting it and am very sorry. I deeply respect people of all backgrounds and detest racism or discrimination of any kind.”
For her part, Sergeenko posted a defense on Instagram that only seemed to stoke the outrage:
“I was born in a small town in East Kazakhstan, my daughter is half Armenian,” she wrote. “Kanye West is one of my most favourite musicians and NP is one of my most favourite songs. And yes, we call each other the N word sometimes when we want to believe that we are just as cool as they guys who sing it.”
She also notes:
“I am deeply sorry to everyone whom I might have offended. Mira is a dear friend and even the fact she so naively posted my private card to her on her social means that we meant nothing wrong and didn’t realise the consequences. I have certainly learned my lessons and I am grateful for it. There is enough anger in the world out there, please, can we stop it here?”
Sergeenko’s apology was shortly deleted.
Shiona Turini, an editor and fashion consultant took it to Twitter to say:
“As we approach fashion week, remember your fave street style stars opt to use language like ‘niggas’ and think it’s a joke.”
But it doesn’t stop there.
The Tot took it to Instagram to issue a statement saying they were removing Duma from the company’s board.
Duma co-founded The Tot, a Dallas-based childrenswear retailer, with Nasiba Adilova (a friend and former business development manager at Buro 24/7).
Sergeenko also felt the repercussions.
Photographer Phil Oh mentioned on Twitter:
“It was real quiet [sic] outside the Ulyana Sergeenko presentation. I guess a lot of editors decided to skip it.”
Marc Goehring, fashion editor of the Berlin-based magazine 032c, also decided to express his outrage by wearing t-shirt that says:
“Hi my name is Miroslava Duma, I am a racist, I am a homophobe, I am a transphobe.”