Marc Jacobs is under social media fire for his presentation at the New York Fashion Week. The issue didn?t lie in the way his models wore his clothes, but by the way they wore their hair. The designer had a cast of predominantly white models walk down the catwalk with multicolored wool dreadlocks.
Twitterverse immediately flooded with criticism for the enigmatic designer, with one user saying, ?Were there no black models available to wear their cultural hairstyle on the runway that isn?t fashion??
So, I guess this means POC can wear our locs freely now and not be blocked from a promotion or job in general?
— Moon in Aquarius (@dopuhmean) September 15, 2016
Marc Jacobs doesn't see color……until it's time to select the models to walk his runway. pic.twitter.com/muwq3ueBqx
— Ant ? (@MyLifeAsAD) September 16, 2016
The issue would have died down soon had it not reached a new intensity when Marc Jacobs himself took to Instagram to address the criticism. He wrote on his page: ? 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 criticise women of color for straightening their hair.? He went on to say he respects and is inspired by people and how they look and doesn?t see color or race.
The comment fueled the fire and as more users bashed him for his ignorance on cultural appropriation. One use said that black women who straighten their hair do it to conform to those standards. The user further said that in America, if a black person?s hair is unkept and styled in dreads, Afros or cornrows, they often lose jobs and opportunities.
Not inspired by Rastafarian culture
Jacobs? muse for the hair was Lana Wachowski, a transgender woman, and star of the brand?s spring 2016 ad campaign. Hairstylist Guido Palau said that the style used on the NYFW runway drew inspiration from the ?80s raver culture, Boy George, and Harajuku, a district in Tokyo known for its colorful street style. Palau denied that the look he created was inspired by Rastafarian culture.
What Jacobs and Palau don?t understand is that while it is true that dreadlocks have been linked to other cultures, they are a mainstay to black culture. Dreadlocking has always been used as a means to protect strands; it is a symbol of black pride in a society partial to straight hair.