Cultural Appropriation in the Fashion World

Cultural appropriation, by definition, is a term used to describe the taking over of creative forms, themes, and practices of a cultural group. Increasing, cultural appropriation has made news regarding fashion. While many designers draw on groups for inspiration, directly taking a look important to a cultural group is wrong. Everyone from Victoria Secret to Vogue is guilty of cultural appropriation now. This past Victoria Secret Fashion Show attracted the attention of many when one of their section took symbols from Chinese culture. The section was entitled “The Road Again” and was meant to be multi-cultural and unifying; many did not feel that way. Chinese culture is not known for women in lingerie and appyling that to white models while they wear dragons does not seem to be unifying. This was not the first time Victoria Secret came under fire. In 2012, they outfitted their models in Native American-like clothing accents. In even more recent news, Vogue has been the source of multiple controveries regarding cultural appropriation. Back in February, Karlie Kloss had a spread in US Vogue that was geisha-themed. In this photo shoot, Kloss’ face was whitened and was dressed in traditional geisha clothing, despite that fact she has no Japanese roots. In a surprising turn of events, the issue was meant to celebrate diversity. Vogue attempted to do this with a white model dressing in Japanese clothing…. Only a few weeks ago, Vogue Arabia, the newest Vogue family member, released it’s first cover. The cover featured Gigi Hadid in beaded hijab. While she is half-Palestinian, there is a whole region of women who could have been on that cover and they picked Hadid. In happier news, Vogue might be tripping up often, but Teen Vogue has their life together. Teen Vogue has recently started to become highly celebrated for putting the spotlight on people of color and highlighting them for who they are. Go Teen Vogue!


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