Married couple, Matthew Mellon and Nicole Hanley Mellon appeared in the New York Times recently because they are creating a a new clothing line–Hanley Mellon–where each collection will be inspired by a new location. The first will be New York City and the next, who knows? But it was Ms. Hanley Mellon’s musings around picking the following location for inspiration that gave me major pause:
“I’ve never been to Africa, but I feel like I have this deep affinity for it,” Ms. Hanley Mellon said. “I’ve read every Hemingway, we collect Peter Beard, I’ve watched ‘Out of Africa.’ It touches your soul to visit and smell the smells, and you can’t recreate the experience without immersing yourself.”
Ma’am. I just…can’t. Rich White people with a “deep affinity” for Africa. Well isn’t that just sweet?
Mr. Mellon is old money, as he comes from the Mellon and Drexel families of Bank of New York Mellon and Mrs. Hanley Mellon grew up in Greenwich, Conn. Both of these individuals know privilege and while it’s endearing to center a line of clothing around the motherland, it’s insensitive to say that you have a deep affinity for it because you’ve seen a movie about Africa.
The Hanley Mellon line will have 10 pieces of clothing, including a coat and blouses meant to be wardrobe staples for a jet-set life, priced from $250 to $2,000. Each collection will be inspired by a different place in the world.
“Now we just need a hashtag,” Ms. Hanley Mellon said. Well, luckily for you, I’ve got a few suggestions:
I could go on, but I’ll let you continue on with these. What do you think about these rich White folks’ “deep affinity” for Africa?
Check Out This Gallery Of African-Inspired Style: