Marc Jacobs is a busy man. He is the man behind his creative design and private label. However, he is still learning and reading all of the comments he received after he was accused of cultural appropriation during his show at New York Fashion Week.
The designer has apologized for his choice of words after he tried defending himself and his show after his latest runway show at New York Fashion Week last Thursday, Sept. 15. Jacobs unveiled his new Spring/Summer 2017 collection last week, but his collection didn’t make headlines for his racy and colorful designs, but because his models Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Irina Shayk, and Jourdan Dunn donned colorful dreadlocks down the catwalk. That’s when fans took to social media to accuse Jacobs of cultural appropriation, reports Newsweek.
It all started when Jacobs shared the photos from the controversial runway show on his Instagram page. The photos showed his A-list models wearing the multicolored dreadlocks, which were woven into their hair. Many fans took offense to Jacobs’ show, especially when it featured a predominately white lineup of women, and some comments called his use of dreadlocks racially insensitive. Both Jacobs and his hairstylist, Guido Palau, credited the Harajuku girls and Lana Wachowski, without noting that dreadlocks are from Rasta culture. Even the Seattle Times named the show as “glam rockers, baby doll dresses,” without realizing the controversy behind it.
In response to the comments he received on his Instagram posts, the 53-year-old said that he does not agree and that he “does not see color or race – I see people.” In addition, a screengrab shows Jacobs responded to his critics by writing it was “funny” that they often don’t “criticize women of color for straightening their hair.” Jacobs also added that he is only “sorry to read that so many people are narrow minded,” reports The Seattle Times.
“All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin colour wearing their hair in any particular style or manner—funny how you don’t criticize women of colour for straightening their hair,” he wrote in some of the now-deleted comments.
And, as of Monday, Sept. 19, Jacobs revealed that he’s still reading and learning from his mistakes. He even took to Instagram to post a quote that read “I have read all of your comments…..” along with the caption “…and I thank you for expressing your feelings. I apologize for the lack of sensitivity unintentionally expressed by my brevity.”
But, Jacobs claims that he does still see “race” and “color,” but he does not “discriminate.” He also welcomed more comments on the subject of cultural appropriation, just as long as it doesn’t cross the line of “name calling” and “bullying.”
…and I thank you for expressing your feelings. I apologize for the lack of sensitivity unintentionally expressed by my brevity. I wholeheartedly believe in freedom of speech and freedom to express oneself though art, clothes, words, hair, music…EVERYTHING. Of course I do “see” color but I DO NOT discriminate. THAT IS A FACT! Please continue to express your feelings freely but do it kindly. Nothing is gained from spreading hate by name calling and bullying.
Despite the controversy, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid are holding onto their colorful dreadlocks, reports Us Weekly. Gigi, 21, was spotted on a date with Zayn Malik in a black crop top that read “Take A Trip To Topanga Canyon.” She paired her look with black leather pants, a custom-made Frame Denim Le Original Patch Jacket, and shiny patent leather loafers by Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour.
Bella, 19, wore an oversized white hoodie with white sneakers and round mirrored Sunday Somewhere sunglasses. Both sisters were still seen with the custom-made wool dreadlock used as a hair accessory just days after the controversy exploded on social media. She even took to her own Instagram page to thank Jacobs and everybody else involved. It looks like Bella and Gigi are still trying to make a fashion statement despite the outcry of cultural appropriation.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Marc Jacobs’ show crossed the line of cultural appropriation? Do you think his apology was just? Sound off below in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]