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  • Annabel Rackham

What high fashion is doing about cultural appropriation

Dolce & Gabbana trivialising Chinese culture in a campaign in 2018. Gucci pulling a jumper that resembles blackface in 2019. Commes Des Garçons using cornrow wigs on white models in 2020.

Just three examples of insensitivity and perceived cultural appropriation that have been criticised in high fashion over the last few years.

When Dolce & Gabbana faced backlash after posting videos of a Chinese model trying to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks as part of its Shanghai campaign, its co-founder Domenico Dolce promised to do better.

Gucci said it would turn its blackface jumper incident last year "into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team".

And while Comme Des Garçons' hair stylist Julien d'Ys has apologised and said it was "never my intention to hurt or offend anyone" after showing white models with cornrows, the incident is the latest talking point in the fashion industry.


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