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ELLE’s Timberland Trend Article Infuriates Black Twitter

Image: @Beyonce

Image: @Beyonce

Is this the worst year for black American culture in fashion? It might be. Earlier this year, Marie Claire heralded cornrows as a trend Kendall Jenner took to “a new epic level.” For Voguebig butts became a hot thing Iggy Azalea and Kim Kardashian popularized, and now designers are gelling down everyone’s baby hairs to look like the back of Bob Belcher’s head. It’s dire straits for black American fashion and insult was added to what seems to be a never-ending train of injury and erasure yesterday, thanks to an article on ELLE.com touting Timberlands as a new, cool-girl trend.

Fashion editor Danielle Prescod (who also happens to be black) left black Twitter reeling, mostly because Timberland boots have been a tried and true staple of hip-hop fashion. “This season, I predict a similar ascent to fashion greatness for the classic Timberland boot,” she wrote. “Here’s why: All cool girls are wearing Timbs, from Cara Delevingne to Rihanna to Gwen Stefani.” Sure, Prescod has a point, Cara and RiRi do wear Timberlands, but so did, like, every single hip-hop artist in the 90s til now, including Jay Z, whose daughter the editor notes wears Timbs on the regular. Heck, even Beyoncé wore Timberlands, though they were the Manolo Blahnik ones.

Of course, commenters and tweeters went off on Prescod for failing to reference this very crucial part of this shoe’s history. 

Prescod took to Twitter to explain herself, saying that she wasn’t trying to say the boots were anything new, just that they seem to be trending with cool girls.

“Mainstream absorption” or have fashion people finally discovered Timberlands, so now they are as chic as cornrows? It seems as if no trend in black America is safe from being taken over completely by this “mainstream” she references, which would be OK if for once someone wrote a piece that actually acknowledges where the trend came from. For goodness sake, one of the greatest music producers of our generation based his stage name off the shoe. Obviously, the Timberland obsession was happening long before Prescod declared, “I know that they’re about to explode. They. Are. Happening.” 

Prescod does, however, have a point about Birkenstocks being a decades-old trend for crunchy granola types — except we’re pretty sure every single piece talking about the rise of the Birkenstock did mention that it was a staple for hippies. 

We don’t think Prescod intentionally meant to erase anyone from the conversation, she seems like a nice girl. But the fact of the matter is that it’s simply inaccurate to say something is going to blow up when it’s been hot for years. Hip-hop has been around for decades and for the bulk of those years, Timbs have been in. It seems a little egregious to completely gloss over that fact, particularly for a young black woman who grew up in the years this “trend” was popping. 

Her mistake. Hopefully, next time she’ll do a little more research.

In the meantime, we’ll just be sitting here waiting for Foamposites and Jordans to achieve “mainstream absorption.” 

[via ELLE]