( – promoted by navajo)
On occasion, I peruse fashion sites, and I’ve noticed a fair amount of cultural appropriation recently. One such caught my eye today; it’s by D&G, a label of Dolce and Gabbana, and they claim it is a “tribal dress”.
The garment is made of goatskin and looks like utter crap. In my Nimisenh (elder sister) Aji’s words, “no self-respecting ikwe would be caught dead in something so grotesque”. It’s expensive crap, too; the original price was $1450, but it was on sale for a “mere” $150.
I personally have better things to spend my limited resources on than this, but it’s time all of us rose up to say “Enough, damn it!” to cultural appropriation.
Personally, I don’t much know how we can do this other than writing to the offenders en masse and letting them know that this is not cool, or fashionable, and is something that makes them look really bad rather than chic.
Their corporate address in the U.S. is:
Dolce&Gabbana USA Inc.
148 Lafayette Street
New York, Ny 10013
Their main HQs seem to be in Milan, and those addresses are:
Via S.Cecilia, 7
Head office for the D&G brand
Via Broggi, 23
Tel. +39 02 2772771
I have been unable to find a good corporate email address but will update here if I can locate one.
So you can see what sort of cultural appropriation is going on, here are pictures. Thanks to navajo for making them small enough to include here!
I hope you’ll join me in keeping an eye out for cultural appropriations from all indigenous peoples if you pay attention to the dominant culture at all, and will also join me in protesting it whenever you do see it. If Dolce & Gabbana gets enough of a backlash from Native peoples and allies, we can hope (perhaps vainly) that they’ll think twice about stealing another’s culture to make up some white fantasy for wannabes. I’ll continue to keep my eye out and post when I see further outrageous examples.
I also want to give a shout-out to Native Appropriations, an excellent blog dealing with just this subject. They’re now linked as Blog Brothers on the right-hand side of the page, thanks again to navajo.
Wherever it happens, cultural appropriation is wrong. Cultural appropriation just to make a fashion statement is a way to make money and nothing else, money which is never shared with those whose cultures have been appropriated. After Tuesday’s election, I personally am in a scrappy mood and you may be, too, so let’s fight back!