Elan's latest campaign sparks debate on racism

Published 04 Jun, 2020 02:46pm

Images Staff

While some, including Elan's team, defended the campaign, many are pointing out the bad timing and how it doesn't seem very inclusive

Another day, another case of a Pakistani fashion brand's campaign raising eyebrows on social media.

We'd say it's 2020 and people still don't understand... but then... it's 2020. Are we even surprised anymore?

The culprit this time around is Elan and their latest lawn shoot featuring Mushk Kaleem and Kenyan model Gabu Fords.

While photographed in Janurary and released in March, the campaign came under fire when the pictures were brought back by the brand during these troubling times and started making the rounds on Instagram and Twitter.

Elan's Khadijah Shah and campaign model Mushk Kaleem immediately shared their statements on the matter.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

"The Elan campaign gives out a message of acceptance and racial harmony. We show an interracial couple discovering an island in Africa.The island itself has been ravaged by terrorism in recent years, and bringing the focus back on its beauty will prove to be beneficial for locals," wrote Shah.

However, when people started asking whether the male model was modeling Elan clothing or not that the argument of how inappropriate this is became clearer.

It was not just Gabu Ford's pictures that had people upset though.

Some photos from the campaign showed a model clad in Elan in a market in Kenya while Kenyans served as a backdrop, something similar to what a few designers have previously done and been slammed for. The conversation goes beyond cultural appropriation and using black folks and their culture as an aesthetic.

Many took to Twitter to share what they thought and it included both outrage and acceptance - though mostly outrage as people also explained how the execution may have missed the mark and what made it even more problematic included the resharing of the campaign when many countries like USA, Britain, New Zealand and Japan are protesting against police brutality against black people.

The brand was called out for the campaign being in poor taste and bad execution.

While there were those who saw it as inclusivity...

People explained how that's not the case

At all

Many shared what's wrong with it

Especially in this current climate