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Marc Jacobs Defends His Models’ Dreadlocks After Cultural Appropriation Backlash

by Sonia Amoako Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Marc Jacobs has defended the use of  his models wearing dreadlocks in his New York Fashion Week Show, saying he doesn’t see ‘colour or race’ but only ‘people’.

Marc Jacobs NYFW Show 1

The fashion designer came under fire after he cast predominantly white models, which included Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. They had their hair styled in oversized multicoloured wool dreadlocks.

He said the disapproval is ‘nonsense’, asking why those that disapprove don’t ‘criticize women of colour for straightening their hair’. He commented on one of his Instagram photos from the show, ‘I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see colour or race – I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded…Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it.’

Marcs full reply to a comment left on his post

Marcs full reply to a comment left on his post

His response however brought a new flood of criticism, specifically in regards to his comment about women of colour choosing to straighten their hair.

A few comments being, ‘Marc Jacobs said something incredibly ignorant.’

‘Until girls here can wear their Afrocs and locs to school without being kicked out (use Google, learn something) stop saying “hair is hair” and other nonsense quotes.’

‘If you’re all about stopping negativity listen to us who are offended!’

It didn’t stop there, many also took to Twitter to vent.

Many people on Twitter were also not impressed

Many people on Twitter were also not impressed

‘Dreadlocks are part of black culture, something you have no business trying to sell or appropriate. Do better.’

Some furious Tweeters claimed that white people should be banned from wearing dreadlocks altogether.

A strong opinion, what do you think?

 Marc Jacobs NYFW Show 5

Marc said the look was inspired by rave culture, London 1980s fashion and Harajuku girls. Stylist Guido Palau said he didn’t consider the look cultural appropriation but said he takes inspiration from every culture. he told The Cut after the show, which occurred on the final night of New York Fashion Week, ‘Style comes from clashing things. It’s always been there — if you’re creative, if you make food, music, and fashion, whatever, you’re inspired by everything. It’s not homogeneous. Different cultures mix all the time. You see it on the street. People don’t dress head-to-toe in just one way.’

Marc Jacobs NYFW Show 3

Let us know your views on this topic.


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