Cultural Appropriation: \’Maybe\’ is Not Enough

Photo by Hype Williams/InStyle


Cultural Appropriation

If you follow fashion like I do, you probably remember Marc Jacobs’ 2017 fashion show. He sent White models down the runway in dreadlocks. Also, in 2015 he sent White models down the runway in bantu knots, which were renamed “mini buns.” As a result of the 2017 show, he received well-deserved backlash. His response included gems like “Funny how you don\’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair.” In true “But I have Black friends” fashion, Marc Jacobs has decided that his 2018 collection will be inspired by, you guessed it, Hip-Hop. I’m over it.

\’Maybe I\’ve Been Insensitive\’

Marc Jacobs proudly shows off his new collection, complete with Salt-n-Pepa, LL Cool J, and others in the latest issue of InStyle magazine. When asked about accusations of cultural appropriation his response is “Maybe I’ve been insensitive.” Maybe. Maybe? If the sudden appreciation for Black culture didn’t seem forced enough, the comments in the article definitely confirmed that he learned nothing. You know what would have been dope? Simply putting more Black models in the next show. Once again, he’s using Black culture to his benefit. Only this time he’s hired Black people to help sell it. It\’s bulls**t.  

If you haven’t read my “Representation Matters: Part II” post, I’ll link it here. Learn what cultural appropriation is. Marc clearly still has zero concept of the meaning. People of Color are not caricatures to be used to benefit you and forgotten when they are no longer trending. You can’t pose yourself around Black people and expect everything to be “All good.” ESPECIALLY if your response is “Maybe I\’ve been insensitive.”  It has yet to be seen whether Marc Jacobs will continue to use more models of color in future runway shows. Given the track record, probably not.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *