A New York City fashion institute placed two school officials on administrative leave Friday following a fashion show featuring “racist references” that led to backlash from models and students.
The runway show, put on during a New York Fashion Week showcase for graduating students of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s MFA program, included “large prosthetic ears and lips and bushy eyebrows,” the school said in a statement addressing the incident.
In addition to students who protested the prosthetics, model Amy LeFevre, who is black, told NBC News that she “almost broke down in tears” when she found out she was supposed to wear them during the show and said she felt “pressured” by those in charge.
She said she told the runway show’s organizers that the prosthetics called back to offensive caricatures of black people.
LeFevre said FIT students “did come to support me, realizing how inappropriate [the accessories] were,”