Son de Flor, a line of cotton, wool and linen dresses from Lithuania, traffics in the kind of twee, Baltic fairy-tale aesthetic that has become an Instagram genre unto itself.
The brand is especially beloved by women who espouse the virtues of organic fabrics and slow lifestyles. In one of Son de Flor’s Instagram posts, a redhead in a smock dress ploughs her sturdy black boots through the snow as a pony trails behind; in another, a pair of sisters with matching Peter Pan collars perch on a bicycle in the middle of fallow farmland. You can almost feel a chill descend. Everything is so hygge you could die. And, until recently, the people featured were exclusively white.
This was a problem for some of Son de Flor’s fans, who sometime in January left comments protesting the lily-paleness of the company’s models and appealing for some degree of racial diversity. This wasn’t an unreasonable request. Son de Flor, though based in a country where more than 84 percent is native Lithuanian (read: white), is an international-facing brand that populates its Instagram posts with the Japanese symbols for “snow” and “forest girl.”
But Son de Flor glossed over this feedback with statements that amounted to “We love everyone, we just feature our friends,” according to someone who witnessed what happened before comments were scrubbed. (Son de Flor did not respond to requests for an interview.) The situation attracted the attention of people who, even if they were not avowed white supremacists themselves, used language that echoed white-supremacist ideology. Not all were subtle about it, however. A white mommy-vlogger who styles herself “Wife with a Purpose” launched a tirade on Youtube pronouncing the commotion ridiculous and averring that “it’s O.K. to be white.”