Everyone knows that the fashion industry has a long history of cultural appropriation. Every season someone or something isn’t giving us the credit we deserve. Sadly, the issue resurfaced again this week, only this time in Paris. Fashion house Valentino presented its spring-summer 2016 collection inspired by Africa during Paris Fashion Week and featured a cast of mainly white models (less than 10 Black models) walking down the runway wearing cornrows and locs.
The brand describes its collection as “primitive, tribal, spiritual, yet regal”, and that it was a “journey to the beginning of time and the essential of primitive nature.” In true twitter form, commenters went all the way in:
We would like to think Valentino didn’t intend to be hurtful, but it gives much attention to larger problems within the beauty and industries.
What do you think? Did the designer miss the mark with cornrows? Does it tip toe the line of cultural appropriation?