'Out of context': New Zealand fashion designer Annah Stretton explains 'racist' poster

Annah Stretton poster
The decade-old poster was spotted in Wellington and shared to Twitter. Photo credit: Twitter.

After coming under fire online for a 'racist' poster, New Zealand fashion designer Annah Stretton says it's been taken "out of context". 

The ad promoting Stretton's website was spotted on Wellington's Hunter Street and subsequently shared to Twitter, where it faced criticism for the exaggerated makeup the Black models were wearing. 

"Annah Stretton is bizarre at the best of times but this, spotted in Wellington is [face palm emoji]", the caption read. 

A reply from one person questioned if the Black models were "made to look up like golliwogs".

Stretton tells Newshub the poster is a decade old and she questioned subsequent coverage from local media outlets. 

"This article intimates that the image used is 'racist', given the makeup look we used as part of a 10-year old NZ Fashion Week show, where 17 models wore the same makeup," she told Newshub. 

"I can understand that out of context the image may be difficult for some in light of Black Lives Matter and other ongoing positive (global and national) changes to what is acceptable and what is not, in current day."

Stretton says the image is due to be changed in the next few days. 

AUT social sciences associate professor Dr Camille Nakhid told Stuff the models in the poster have been shown as "caricatures" which "shows the designer's ignorance". 

"People of colour don't need to have parts of their anatomy that have been subjected to ridicule in the past exaggerated for 'art'," Dr Nakhid added.