Blackface: Those brands who all make the same mistake

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Gucci polemic of blackface
Gucci is in a controversy about a blackface sweater. Source: Creative Commons

Gucci, Moncler, Prada… and the list is much longer in reality. All of them did the same thing. At first side the definition of a blackface is: make-up used by a non-black performer playing a black role. But when it comes to brands, there are some spin-offs.

The source of the most recent controversy is a black turtleneck, that covers the face up to the eyes of the model in the catalog with a red cut-out around the mouth.
The item was named “balaclava jumper” and the cost was about $890. The item has been removed of the collection as soon as it became a controversial subject.

What is the history of blackface?

Blackface started in the slavery area. It was a way to make fun of or caricature the negroid features. It has a history of racism and stereotypes.

Gucci apologized and decided to remain positive by turning this event “into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team”. They also explained that it would be removed from sale and said it wasn’t made to offend anyone.

A mistake that reappers often

Gucci isn’t the first luxury fashion brand that has used a blackface. Moncler, Prada.. The list of luxury brands is long, not to mention the low cost brands that have showcased different types of racism.

Moncler polemic blackface
Moncler like Gucci is in a controversy about a blackface sweater.

Other types of blackface

Recently a Ralph Northam, Democrat governor of Virginia was accused of appearing in a picture from 1984 with his face blackened.

Diariatou Ahouandjinou, IEJ2C

France: Black Friday or Green Friday – we have to choose

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Promotions, rock bottom prices, good deals, today, it’s the Black Friday. For some people, it’s the opportunity to overspend. For others, the moment to remember that the Earth is already suffering from overconsumption. Now it’s time to choose. 

lol.pngPhoto : Black Friday and the overconsumption/©Gettyimages

During Black Friday, the planet suffers from overconsumption once again. Seen in this light, “Fairy Christmas” takes a big hit. Citizens and associations are fighting against Black Friday and they hold an eco-friendly “fight back”: the Climate Friday.

The movement “Citoyens pour le climat” #ilestencoretemps (“Citizens for the climate” #thereisstilltime) counter attacks. Several associations are calling for a boycott of Amazon, Cdiscount and the others giants of e-commerce. Another movement was born in 2017 : the Green Friday. This year again, the founding members of the operation are trying to offer an alternative to Black Friday with the support of the Paris City Hall. Green Friday proposes several events in all the country ; DIY workshops, initiations to recycling, diagnostics of electrical appliances and other. The website also offers eco-friendly alternatives to consumption. It established a list of brands which will donate 15% of their turnovers of their day to green associations.

Black Friday: newcomer in France

5,740 billion euros is the amount of expenses achieved in France for last year’s Black Friday. This number is based on RetailMeNot and CRR Research studies. A continuous increase of this number can be observed since 2013, date of the first Black Friday in the country.  In France, we are expecting a consumption peak this week-end. Fifty percent of the French people intend to participate in this event. Black Friday happens one month before Christmas, which allows people to buy their gifts cheaper. In order to protect the environment, Greenpeace invites “responsible citizens” to manufacture their gifts rather than buy them.




Black Friday : The impact on French Economy

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Black Friday
Consumers during Black Friday, in a shop in the USA

Coming from the United States, Black Friday has become a global event. In France, it has existed since 2014.

Black Friday is the next day of Thanksgiving, traditional holiday in America. It triggers end-of-year shopping with discounted prices in all stores. Amazon, Rakuten, CDiscount are the big names that are participating in this event, that creates huge benefits. French companies attracted by revenues coming Black Friday established this event has established in 2014. The first participants were large sites that make huge profits in the North American (United States, Canada) and British sectors.

It has been taken over by the websites of major French retailers, such as Fnac, Darty, Boulanger or generalist like Auchan or Leclerc. They generate figures that are twice bigger than on an ordinary day. With the Black Friday and the Cyber Monday combined, there is a sales’ increase of 69%.
Originally only present on the e-commerce websites, Black Friday generalized and arouses more and more waiting by the French shoppers. In 2017, they bought for €910m on the Black Friday. And we hope for the billion of euros for this 2018’s edition. It has multiplied by 4 since the start of this event.

If Black Friday was created recently on 2010 in America, it has become an global event with billions of revenues in one day.

Emmanuel LASSABE, IEJ 3E G1

Bitcoin is lower than ever

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The crypto currency is once again famous, but not because of its expensive value. It’s actually the opposite. The bitcoin is facing its lowest rating this year, with less than €5,000 per Bitcoin. This is due to the bitcoin splitting into two sides : Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC.

FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration
A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed. Picture from Ouest-France

How did it happen?

In crypto currency, splitting a currency into two is common when reforming its infrastructure. For the reform to be approved, you need the approval of “miners”, workers on the network to create and gain bitcoins. The market is living mostly thanks to them. If miners are looking at different solutions and can’t find a deal, the currency is split. It is called a “Hard Fork”.

Only in the Bitcoin market, the debate turned into an ego war. Two rival personalities proposed a new way of dealing with Bitcoin : “Faketoshi” for Bitcoin SV and “SharkPool” for Bitcoin ABC. Miners that joined the respective sides, also joined the rivalry.

Craig Wright alias Faketoshi (named after claiming without proof he is Satoshi, the mysterious creator of the bitcoin) is facing the SharkPool team, created to shut down Faketoshi‘s plans. Their strategy is to reduce Faketoshi‘s financial power by allowing more people into bitcoin. The main way to do it, is to reduce its value.

Faketoshi‘s crypto currency is currently the slowest

The SharkPool team’s strategy is working. Last Friday, Bitcoin SV was producing two times slower than Bitcoin ABC. If the situation continues, Bitcoin ABC will even overcome the original Bitcoin, becoming the new famous crypto currency.


France: A wind turbine project in Dunkirk

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On Thursday November 15th, French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the creation of wind turbine project in Dunkirk. The challenge is to implement 500 megawatt in the North Sea. Several big companies are employed in a contest to lead the project : EDF, Engie, Iberdrola, Vattenfall… Among these different possibilities, the French government will select the best option to carry out the construction.


French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe visits the port of Dunkirk, northern France, during the 2nd Interministerial Committee of the Sea on November 15, 2018. (Photo by AFP)


For the project, there were no official figures but according to some sources the electricity price bill is estimated at around 80 euros. French state hopes to give a new dynamic to marine energies in the long run. Therefore, it has to run policies that encourage companies to bid regularly.

But this project is part of a global approach by the government. Indeed, a total of 6 similar projects are planned by 2024 everywhere in the country in order to promote green energy.


Julien Banoun, IEJ 3E



INTERNATIONAL: Salvini defies the EU

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Matteo Salvini the Italian MP refuses to change his budget. Source : Valeurs Actuelles

Yesterday, Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister, has rejected European Commission’s demands by sticking to his country’s big-spending budget target, which is likely to scale-up its fiscal stalemate with Brussels.

It was the official deadline for the Italian government to present a revised draft budget to the EU’s executive body.  Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria has sent a letter to the European Commission, in which he claimed that despite the EU criticism, the Italian government would still go for a budget deficit of 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2019, in order to finance “expansionary and costly measures”. Luigi Di Maio of Five Star Movement said: “We have the conviction that this is the budget needed for the country to get going again.” This decision is the latest step in the unparalleled duel between Italy and Brussels, regarding the country’s spending plan, as the 2.4% requested deficit lowers the previous Italian administration’s deficit goal of 0.8% of GDP.

What penalty for Italy ?

Last October, the EU rejected Italy’s draft budget as incompatible with the bloc’s rules, astride Europe’s establishment and the opponents in Rome. By now, if Italy refuses to abide by a compliant budget, the resulting EU disciplinary sanctions could lead to fines in the order of 0.2% of Italy’s gross domestic product, as well as the freezing of some funding. If the Boot keeps on defying Brussels, those fines can still grow over time.

Italy’s debt level is described by the European Commission as a “major vulnerability” for its economy.


Eva Lopez Eiro, IEJ 3F1


The economic impact of the mid-terms

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Midterms had a positive impact on Wall Street.
Source : LaVoixDuNord

The mid-terms had a significant and positive impact on Wall Street, according to the Dow Jones.

The 6th of November, during the mid-terms, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, based on Wall Street, reveled a rise of 1.32%. Furthermore, it showed a growth of 2.68% on the two following days.

With his protectionism policy, Donald Trump has cooled the international market. That’s why the Democrats’ victory over the House of Representatives had an impact on the American Stock Exchange.

The future fight between Democrats and Republicans will likely influence trade. Democrats will try to stop the economic slowdown and erase the tax reform that Donald Trump adopted last year.

According to the writer and business journalist Hamish McRae “The midterm elections may give the US economy a short-term boost, but bigger challenges remain.”

Jonas Hattab, IEJ 3E