By Cindy Pasillas and Ashleigh Pearson
Marc Jacobs has received a significant amount of hate due to the hairstyle he chose for the models in his spring 2017 New York Fashion Week show.
The fashion show included many top models such as Adriana Lima, Jourdan Dunn, Karli Kloss, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid.
The models stepped onto the runway with dreadlocks assorted of pastel hues. According to US Weekly, Lana Wachowski a director that was featured in one of Jacobs ad campaigns for spring-summer 2016 was the inspiration for his bold hairstyle choice for his NYFW show. Lana’s adventurous and controversial everyday style also includes a head full of colorful dreads.
Many people were not impressed or moved by the designers choice, actually many were offended stating he appropriated black culture. Twitter and Instagram users were quick to make their voices be heard as to why they were so offended.
The designer was quick to address the matter on Instagram saying “and all who cry cultural appropriation or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in a particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticize woman of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race- I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are narrow minded… Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it”
Jacobs comments only added fuel to the fire considering he didn’t apologize but insinuated that woman of color appropriate white culture by straightening their hair.
A few days after his NYFW show the backlash had not gone away it actually seemed to increase which led the designer to offer a more heartfelt apology. In which he wrote, “I have read all your comments. And I thank you for expressing your feelings. I apologize for the lack of sensitivity unintentionally expressed by my brevity. I wholeheartedly believe in freedom of speech and freedom to express oneself through art, clothes, words, hair, music…EVERYTHING.”
To which he added, “Of course I do ‘see’ color but I DO NOT discriminate. THAT IS A FACT! Please continue to express your feelings freely but do it kindly. Nothing is gained from spreading hate by name calling and bullying.”
Cultural appropriation is a hot topic especially in the fashion industry there’s a lot of gray area when it comes down to if a designer is appreciating a culture or appropriating it.
As for Marc Jacobs, only time will tell if he sincerely meant his apology or if he learned from the backlash that flooded his social medias.