Every designer has to look for inspiration for their collections, but KTZ designer Marjan Pejoski has upset a few people with his latest for Fall 2015. The collection is inspired by Native American patterns and design, or as Pejoski and WWD questionably put it, as “a tribute to ‘the primal woman indigenous to this land,’ who evolves into a sexualized, empowered being.”
Adrienne K. at Native Appropriations points out that one of the designs Pejoski presented is extremely similar to the work of Los Angeles-based Apsáalooke (Crow) and Northern Cheyenne designer Bethany Yellowtail. Adrienne says that Yellowtail’s designs come out of Crow beadwork that has existed in her family for generations, and that the geometric designs actually have meaning. Indeed, the KTZ dress in question looks rather similar to some of the patterns that come through in Yellowtail’s work.
Adrienne calls Pejoski’s interpretation a “mockery and a celebration of cultural theft.” While it is hardly a crime or an offense to be inspired by other cultures, as we know, it becomes a different animal altogether when the source of inspiration is not given the kind of credit they deserve. Still, it is difficult to say whether or not Pejoski ripped off Yellowtail’s designs (we don’t know for sure if it was Yellowtail’s particular designs or even something he saw on Tumblr or on the street that could have prompted him to design something like this). It is difficult to imagine that someone working in fashion would be ignorant of the highly sensitive nature of borrowing from other cultures, particularly Native Americans. There has been quite a bit of backlash against designers, festival goers and celebrities who choose to don headdresses or put them on a runway. Unless you live under a rock, it’s hard not to notice these instances.
Still, it begs the question: When does “inspiration” formally cross the line into appropriation? Does the very act of being inspired by a particular cultural design make it appropriation, or is it being inspired and not referencing or paying what may be considered due homage to the original inspiration? Perhaps this could have been avoided if, as Adrienne says, KTZ had made it known it consulted or included Native American designers in the making of the collection.
We reached out to KTZ’s publicist for comment and will update once we get a response.
[via Native Appropriations]
In recent years, Topshop Unique has become one of the coolest tickets at LFW, but it’s not all about those front row attendees. Each season, Topshop tries to push the digital boundaries to create a socially innovative show that anyone can enjoy from the comfort of their own home.
Never content with simply livestreaming the catwalk, Topshop always goes the extra mile to get fans involved. For this Sunday’s show, the brand enlisted the help of Twitter and erected six giant digital billboards across the U.K., including Manchester, Liverpool and London, which will break down the trends as they emerge on the runway. If you fall in love with the runway trend and want to discover how to emulate the look at a fraction of the price, simply tweet the relevant trend hashtag @Topshop and you’ll receive a curated edit of the pieces currently available to buy in Topshop stores.
Haven’t dabbled with social currency yet? Then there’s no better time than during Fashion Week. Head over to Topshop’s flagship in London’s Oxford Circus where there’ll be a special vending machine asking you to simply tweet to receive treats.
If watching the show online or on the big screen at the London flagship still just doesn’t do it for you, then tweet @Topshop with a review of the show for the chance to win a ticket to the Spring 2016 show. Maybe there’ll be a front row seat with your name on it next season.
We’re inundated with choices on the newsstand right now, as numerous publications produced multiple covers for their big March issues focusing on the new spring collections. Interview is the latest mag to drop on our forums and members raced to the thread to see the anticipated covers from the title known for pushing the boundaries of fashion photography. Kristen Stewart stars on two separate covers, lensed by Steven Klein and styled by Karl Templer. Resembling stills from a movie, The Twilight actress was captured at nightfall on location in New York, pictured alongside a vintage ride.
As always, the real question remains: Are our forum members impressed? “Much prefer the second cover but not really into it…her past two covers, particularly the 40th anniversary were hard to beat. Not really here for the faux blonde hair + repeat concept of the Wang campaign,” commented Fiercification.
“Oh come on the March issue I was anticipating the most and we get her? Sporting the rattiest hair to ever grace the cover of a magazine? The editorials and interviews better be amazing,” Melancholybaby later replied.
Also not showing much enthusiasm toward both covers was Emmanuelle: “That’s not really my thing, I don’t like the colors and the light.”
Miss Dalloway definitely wasn’t feeling it as she expressed, “What a letdown, after waiting so eagerly, they give me Kristen Stewart? No, thank you! March issues have been such a dull fest!”
Thankfully, MyNameIs soon lifted the mood: “I like it. Both covers work for me. Her expression is kinda dull on the first one but she still connects with her eyes. Plus the overall styling, colors and composition pull it all together.”
“I like the ‘dirt’ of it, that she’s up to no good, hanging around in cars, in the red light district. As people do…” said tigerrouge.
Which cover will you be tracking down? Check out Kristen’s cover story and join the discussion here.
Celebrities: Do they need to be lavished with any more expensive stuff? Of course they do. Because free designer duds, borrowed jewels, endorsements and millions of dollars to their name simply is not enough. We all know the gift bags celebrities get at award ceremonies are always filled with the best goodies, and this year’s Oscars, airing this Sunday, is no exception.
According to Variety, the Oscar nominees’ gift bag is worth $125,000 and is filled with luxury goodies including $1,500 worth of French Mediterranean sea salts (because no thespian should have to use plebeian table salt), a $12,500 glamping trip, a $250 Haze vaporizer, a $1,500 stay at a Tuscany resort, and tons of other eye-poppingly fabulous prizes. There is even a $20,000 session with Enigma Life founder Olessia Kantor, who will happily treat each nominee to some good ol’ fashioned Hollywood hippie ripping off, flying out “to discuss their 2015 horoscope, analyze dreams and teach them mind control techniques.” Well, alright then.
The median household income for most Americans is $53,891. The Oscars gift bag is worth more than twice that. Just file this one under “must be nice.”
CFDA members have a reason to rejoice this morning – and it’s not because NYFW is almost over. The governing fashion body has announced some changes to its annual awards ceremony and this year, the council will be nominating five people each for the titles of Womenswear, Menswear and Accessories Designer of the Year. In previous years, only three design houses were up for each prize.
We’re happy to hear that more talented designers will be recognized for their work. The winners will be announced in a star-studded ceremony June 1 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
ASOS found itself stirred in a pot of controversy this week when the brand tweeted out an image of its interns from the @ASOS_Careers account — an image that got people wondering about the company’s hiring practices.
The picture, which has since been deleted, shows a troupe of about 14 interns, all of whom happen to be white. The account’s followers couldn’t help but notice the marked lack of diversity in the image and immediately began to call out the retailer. Plenty of followers expressed disappointment at seeing an all-white class of interns, a few saying that the image was discouraging them from applying for an internship altogether since it seems ASOS doesn’t hire nonwhite people.
“We can model some of the clothes just can’t do other work?” @NaijaNupe tweeted. “Just want to know which job I should apply for since I’m dark.” While @simonejaay said, “Everyone is white :/ does someone like myself have a chance?” Some threw a little shade at the brand, like @BlessinggK, who said, “Look at how diverse your interns are, so many different ethnicities.”
For some, this may seem like much ado about nothing. Who cares if ASOS hires any Asian, black, Aboriginal or Native American people? Fashion is a tough industry to break into, especially for people of color. If a diverse group of people don’t get the opportunity to cultivate a foundation of skills early on, skills that could lead to other jobs, the industry will remain as whitewashed as it is now.
ASOS has profusely apologized to its followers on Twitter, encouraging skeptical people of color to apply for a job at the company, and also stressing that the photo, though unfortunate, does not represent the makeup of the ASOS team — both interns and full-time employees.