Dallas-based fashion brand The Tot dropped co-founder Miroslava Duma from its board today after the blogger and social media star posted a racial slur to her Instagram story.
Duma, who is currently attending the couture shows in Paris, briefly shared a snap of a private note from designer Ulyana Sergeenko reading, “To my n***** in Paris,” accompanied by a bouquet of roses. The tone deaf note, which references a popular Kanye West lyric, went viral overnight.
The Tot responded to the incident with a public statement on its own Instagram, reading:
We at The Tot are deeply shocked by the offensive and racist post shared last night by Miroslava Duma during Paris Fashion Week. In no way do those actions or statements reflect the values of The Tot.
Cultural reference or not, racism in any form is unacceptable, regardless of whether it’s accidental or unintentional. Words are powerful and we know those words hurt. Effective immediately, we have removed Miroslava Duma from the board of our company.
Fellow co-founder of The Tot, Nasiba Adilova expressed similar outrage on her personal account, stating that she was “deeply saddened and disappointed by the actions of Miroslava Duma at Paris Fashion Week,” and supporting The Tot’s decision to remove her from the board.
Shortly before the company made the announcement, Duma also posted a public apology to her 1.6 million Instagram followers, saying she regrets posting the note and detests “racism or discrimination of any kind.”
However, the actual author of the controversial note didn’t seem quite as regretful. Sergeenko responded to the backlash with an extremely odd apology, as seen in the screenshot below. The designer deleted the post, probably after realizing it wasn’t helping her case…
As Adilova put it, hopefully “this inspires people to consider how their actions and words affect others.”