Last year, designer Marc Jacobs’ fashion show featured primarily white models wearing fake dreadlocks as they walked down the runway.
Months after being pulled up for this appropriation across social media, Marc has finally realised the error of his ways. In an interview with InStyle magazine, the designer talked about his newfound ‘wokeness’, but many are still unsure if he is truly ‘awoken’.
When Kendall Jenner modelled Jacobs’ fake dreadlocks from his Spring 2017 collection, the designer was attacked on Twitter. Since then, he claims to have learned from thousands of people calling him out for this on social media.
After the fury subsided, Jacobs admitted that he learnt that “maybe I just don’t have the language for this”.
“Maybe I’ve been insensitive because I operate so inside my little bubble of fashion”, Jacobs said.
Upon saying this, critics then mentioned that Jacobs has clearly admitted that ‘money and white privilege create a crazy self-insulating bubble’.
Some said that Jacobs still seems to not understand how cultural appropriation is wrong. This came after he said, “Now you can’t go to a music festival with feathers in your hair because it’s cultural appropriation”.
“There seems to be this strange feeling that you can be whoever you want as long as it’s ‘yours’, which seems very counter to the idea of cross-pollination, acceptance, and equality,” he continued.
If you can’t take the heat, steal something else
Fashion columnist Mary Anderson countered Jacob’s argument citing that he is not regretful and promoting cultural appropriation.
“No, you can’t wear feathers, nor can you clip in some dreadlocks for a fun fashion statement”, Anderson said. “These hairstyles are intrinsically linked to marginalised communities that have been persecuted for wearing them. That means they’re not just cute accessories for white people to try on when they feel like it”.
Anderson continued: “If you want the oppression that comes along with being a person of colour along with the style, then by all means, steal our hair. But if you do, prepare to be called out for it – and if you can’t handle even that, perhaps you should get inspired by something else”.