Culture

Once Again, Kylie And Kendall Jenner Are Being Dragged All Over Social Media For Cultural Appropriation

Kylie and Kendall Jenner are no strangers to accusations of cultural appropriation. Despite those previous instances of cultural appropriation, the duo is still attempting to sell culture through their clothing line. This time the Jenner sisters have been dragged mercilessly on Twitter because of their latest fashion item: a flannel shirt.

The shirt itself isn’t the issue. It’s the way they chose to market the shirt that really caught everyone’s attention.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner are being called #CultureVultures on social media because of this photo.

Yup. That’s a flannel shirt with the top button fastened, just as is worn in cholo/chola culture. It wasn’t long until Twitter showed up to let the Jenner sisters know what they think about the use of Latino culture to sell overpriced flannel shirts. FYI, that shirt, which you could buy at any swap meet for $10, is for sale on the Kylie + Kendall website for $145.

First, people went straight to the receipts to show just how similar the looks are.

The looks are so similar it’s impossible for them to claim they didn’t realize they were biting cholo/chola culture for profit. Also, those appear to be some big hoop earrings peaking in from the top of the photo.

People took it upon themselves to apologize to the chola community on the Jenner sisters’ behalf.

Others pointed to the white privilege aspect of the incident.

Damn. That was savage.

A few people weren’t really surprised because it isn’t like they haven’t done this before.

The sisters have gone so far in their cultural appropriation that Notorious B.I.G.’s mom called them out.

People demanded that the photo be taken down.

And, it was. If you check @kendallandkylie on Instagram, the photo is no longer anywhere to be seen.

Some folks were sharing photos of themselves dressed in their chola gear.

There were some definite shots fired at the sisters with no f*cks given.

Basically, the Twitterverse was like:

The came for the wrong ones.


READ: Kylie Pissed Off Latinos Again

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Another Fashion Week Brings Another Case Of Cultural Appropriation: This Designer Had White Models Wearing Cornrow Wigs

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Another Fashion Week Brings Another Case Of Cultural Appropriation: This Designer Had White Models Wearing Cornrow Wigs

@madisonothomas / Twitter

Fashion has a long history of pulling from and appropriating other cultures. Whether it’s in campaigns or on runways, brands and designers have made many missteps over the years —so although disappointing that this still happens in 2020, it’s not big news when each Fashion Week we hear of yet another instance of it. And this Paris Fashion Week was no exception. Japanese brand Comme Des Garcons has come under fire for sending white models wearing cornrow wigs down the runway.

Comme des Garçons has been called out for appropriating a typically black hairstyle.

People were quick to point out the cultural appropriation after the looks —which bore a close resemblance to hairstyles typically worn by black people— hit the runway, and worn by white models. Rather than every model wearing the wigs, a number of the black models who walked in the show sported their own hair.

Julien d’Ys, the hair stylist who has collaborated with designer Rei Kawakubo for many years, explained his influences on Instagram.

Citing Tutankhamen and Ancient Egypt, the hair stylist’s posts drew positive comments from fashion names including Marc Jacobs —another designer who’s also been accused of cultural appropriation after he sent models down the runway wearing dreads.

d’Ys initially chose to dismiss the criticism as “stupide.”

In a comment, in response to the mounting backlash, he posted an image of the boys featured in the show along with an apology. “My inspiration for the Comme des Garçons show was Egyptian prince a look I found truly beautiful and inspirational. A look that was an hommage (sic). Never was it my intention to hurt or offend anyone, ever. If I did, I deeply apologise.”

However, despite more than 2,000 likes for his post, many of the comments underneath were negative.

Devinpink67 said: “Looks appropriate on the handsome dark skin model, a joke on the others next to and behind it never looks right but stupidity ridiculous braids, cornrows, twist, bantu knots, afro puffs, afros, slicked baby hairs REPEAT ARE B-L-A-C-K CULTURAL RELATED.”

The wigs were part of the company’s men’s autumn and winter collection on show as part of Paris Fashion Week.

View this post on Instagram

Back in 2018, @commedesgarcons cast their first black models in over 20 years for their FW18 show, following critical comments from netizens who noticed they hadn’t featured a black model since 1994. Last night, the avant-garde Japanese label seemed to have taken a step back with their men’s show, this time putting white models in cornrow wigs. Some black models also sported the wigs, while some wore their own hair. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Vogue Runway called them “odd”, which is a curious statement in itself, considering the stigma and discrimination of natural hair and hairstyles that embrace cultural identity (braids, Bantu knots, twists and locs). It was only in 2015 that Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic said that Zendaya’s dreadlocks at the Oscars made her look like she “smells like patchouli oil or weed”. Suffice it to say, CDG’s decision to appropriate the braided hairstyles for white models is indeed problematic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the positive side, more states are legislating to ban race-based hair discrimination, following New York and California’s decision in 2019. Dieters, what do you think about the wigs at Comme des Garçons? The look on the model’s faces say it all, don’t you think? • #commedesgarcons #culturalappropriation #pfw #pfwm #pfw20 #cornrows #wig #wigs #caucasity #commepocracy #reikawakubo #adrianjoffe #discrimination #hair #naturalhairstyles #locs #locstyles #blackhair #blackhairstyles #naturallycurly #protectivestyles #goodhair #model #malemodel #avantgarde #cdgconverse #cdgplay #cdg #vogue #dietprada

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Critics on social media called the styling for Friday’s show “offensive”. The infamous Instagram account diet_prada —who has become the unofficial fashion police, shared a post saying that “the avant-garde Japanese label seemed to have taken a step back with their men’s show, this time putting white models in cornrow wigs”.

Another comment under d’Ys’s post suggested: “In future, to avoid facing this heat again when taking inspiration from a culture that is not yours, PLEASE work closely with one from said culture to guide you in doing it properly.

instagram @juliendys

“Your intention might not have been to culturally appropriate Egyptian culture, however your lack of care or awareness in executing it is extremely reckless and hence why it is deemed as cultural appropriation. Education alone avoids these situations, so learn from this and keep it pushing.”

The brand sent an apology to Dazed magazine

“The inspiration for the headpieces for Comme des Garçons menswear FW’20 show was the look of an Egyptian prince. It was never ever our intention to disrespect or hurt anyone – we deeply and sincerely apologise for any offence it has caused.”

Designers often apologize in these situations after the backlash, but in the year 2020 these situations shouldn’t even happen in the first place. 

Despite the countless times brands have been called out for doing so —and the plethora of information available about how using these traditional black hairstyles on white models is appropriation, and why it matters so much— the issue still happens. 

This isn’t the first time Comme des Garcons has been called out for lack of diverse representation. 

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Back in 2018, @commedesgarcons cast their first black models in over 20 years for their FW18 show, following critical comments from netizens who noticed they hadn’t featured a black model since 1994. Last night, the avant-garde Japanese label seemed to have taken a step back with their men’s show, this time putting white models in cornrow wigs. Some black models also sported the wigs, while some wore their own hair. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Vogue Runway called them “odd”, which is a curious statement in itself, considering the stigma and discrimination of natural hair and hairstyles that embrace cultural identity (braids, Bantu knots, twists and locs). It was only in 2015 that Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic said that Zendaya’s dreadlocks at the Oscars made her look like she “smells like patchouli oil or weed”. Suffice it to say, CDG’s decision to appropriate the braided hairstyles for white models is indeed problematic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the positive side, more states are legislating to ban race-based hair discrimination, following New York and California’s decision in 2019. Dieters, what do you think about the wigs at Comme des Garçons? The look on the model’s faces say it all, don’t you think? • #commedesgarcons #culturalappropriation #pfw #pfwm #pfw20 #cornrows #wig #wigs #caucasity #commepocracy #reikawakubo #adrianjoffe #discrimination #hair #naturalhairstyles #locs #locstyles #blackhair #blackhairstyles #naturallycurly #protectivestyles #goodhair #model #malemodel #avantgarde #cdgconverse #cdgplay #cdg #vogue #dietprada

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In 2018, the Japanese fashion house cast its first Black model in over 20 years. Yup, in 2018.

The last few years have seen many fashion giants accused of cultural appropriation and even racism after a series of high profile scandals. 

Gucci was embroiled in a blackface controversy last year, while Prada faced outrage over a set of racially insensitive figurines in 2018. As a result, many in the industry are taking steps to make their brands more inclusive and representative, with both Gucci and Prada hiring diversity panels in the hopes of avoiding past mistakes.

Comme des Garcons’s appropriation of traditional West African hairstyles contributes to a common trend in the fashion industry, where Black culture is used by non-Black creatives to add an “edge” to design.

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People On Social Media Criticized Becky G For Allegedly Stealing The Name Of Her New Makeup Line

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People On Social Media Criticized Becky G For Allegedly Stealing The Name Of Her New Makeup Line

Becky G has released her second line of cosmetics with ColourPop Thursday and another brand by the same name claims the artist stole its intellectual property. “Chiquita pero chingona!” the cruelty-free Becky G line advertises, saying “Becky G did it again with the realest collection yet, inspired by her roots and her parent’s love story.” Meanwhile, Hola Chola Inc., founded by Susana Gonzalez, sells clothing and accessories that commemorate the same 1990’s Mexican-American Chola culture that Becky G’s collection tributes. Complete with La Virgencita denim jackets and “Hola Chola” jewelry and accessories, Gonzalez even once met with Becky G’s team to discuss a collaboration. When Hola Chola Inc.’s followers saw Becky G’s collection, they called out Becky G for ripping Gonzalez off. The LA-based indie company began calling on fans to spread the word to their friends not to support Becky G’s collection. 

Eventually, Becky G and the Hola Chola Inc. founder spoke on the phone and deleted all the negative content, but people are still dissatisfied.

“Hola Chola is something that I say literally every single day,” Becky G says in her video campaign.

CREDIT: @IAMBECKYG / TWITTER

“When I wake up early in the morning, at 6 am, for hair and makeup call time, and I open the door and I’m like, “Hola Chola!” That’s just what we do,” Becky G adds in her campaign, citing “chola” as something that means strength and confidence. “The word ‘chola’, when you think of a ‘chola’, it can be, I think, whatever you want it to be. Obviously, it carries a lot of weight, too. It’s definitely a lifestyle more than it is just a ‘style’,” Becky G elaborates in her video. “There’s so much inspiration behind this collection for me!” Becky G posted to Instagram. “The biggest ones being my mom’s styles & influences that have been passed on to me and the boss ladies I’m surrounded by every day,” she added. According to Becky G herself, all the “inspiration” is “straight from my mom’s closet in high school in the 90s and my older cousins who would dress me up like them in the early 2000s ????” 

Becky G’s mother is a crucial element of her beauty campaign and even makes an appearance in the promo video. The two even collaborated on ideas together. “To me, the name chola just means a strong woman. It doesn’t mean necessarily tied up to anything bad, other than they were strong. They were down. They were, like, real,” Becky G’s mom says in the video promo. “We love the name chola.”

Hola Chola Inc. claims that, because Becky G’s team was aware of the brand, it’s intellectual property theft.

CREDIT: @HOLACHOLAINC / INSTAGRAM

Gonzalez says she sat down with Becky G’s team at one point to discuss a collab, and had sent Becky G a La Virgencita denim jacket. “I’m so enraged,” an Hola Chola Inc. model posted to Instagram. “Out of all the names in the world you had to go with one that already exists? One that YOU know about @iambeckyg. The industry has never been fair but it just sucks to see shit like this happen from our own people. Make sure to keep tagging the real OG HOLA CHOLA under their posts.” 

Apparently, @HolaCholaInc unfollowed Becky G after the backlash. Later, Becky G and Gonzalez spoke over the phone, and Becky G shared to her Instagram story that the two had cleared things up. Soon after, @HolaCholaInc refollowed Becky G and deleted all the negative criticism for the beauty brand.

Others aren’t buying it.

CREDIT: @IAMBECKYG / TWITTER

When one Instagram user posited that Hola Chola Inc’s outrage was misplaced, the response was less-than-direct. “OK, but where’s the makeup YOU sale…I’m sure you didn’t inspire it with the sweater you make …” asked Instagram user @issamerickyy. “Huh?! You have to much time on your hands kid, go read a book!” Hola Chola Inc. responded, ironically with her own grammar mistakes given her “go read a book” jab.

I see no similarity aside from the term and cultural aspect..,” chimed in one Twitter Latina. “I was expecting to see a like-minded cosmetics brand.. but they sell clothing, just under the same phrase (which was used widely by all of us Latinas for over a decade.) Pump the breaks.”

What do you think? Was the backlash warranted?

READ: Becky G Gets Called Out For Cultural Appropriation And Latinx Twitter Users Have Thoughts

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