All posts filed under: Culture

So, what’s the deal with fashion and cultural appropriation?

Over the last few months, the term ‘cultural appropriation’ appears more and more on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds, often within posts conveying upset and rage. The people behind them are aggravated. But some of their followers and ‘friends’ just don’t get why, and what they’re going on about exactly. “I hear it has something to do with race”. “What’s wrong with wearing a bindi, or liking a pic of a girl with her hair in braids?” On the surface these types of comments and questions are not necessarily ill-willed. However, they do illustrate that the issue of cultural appropriation needs clarifying. Here I attempt to explain. The fashion industry could not survive without diversity. For centuries, it’s been common practice for designers to borrow elements of style, whether it be colour, patterns and motifs, embellishments, cut, accessories etc. from a variety of different countries and cultures across the world. This mix and match of geographical influences leads to innovative design in clothes and footwear. And the acceptance, appreciation and adoption of fashion from other …