Everything there is to know about the cultural appropriation claims against Zara and Anthropologie

Zara and Anthropologie are in hot waters

author_img U.Roy Published :  03rd June 2021 05:19 PM   |   Published :   |  03rd June 2021 05:19 PM

On the left: The embroidered shorts by Anthropologie and on right, the midi-dress by Zara

Fast fashion retailers Zara and Anthropologie are in hot waters after  Mexico's Ministry of Culture asked for a public explanation from the labels for using designs created by the country's indigenous artisans for their collections. The letters, which are signed by Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto Guerrero point towards a few items, the embroideries on which are said to be originally created by indigenous craftspeople of Mexico. The Ministry has also called for benefits to be 'given back to the creative communities' who originally created the motifs. 

The complain specifically pertains to a few items from the line-ups of Zara and Anthropologie. Like a blue embroidered midi dress by Zara, which are said to be appropriating the traditional "huipil" dresses produced by the Mixtec people of San Juan Colorado, Mexico. A pair of embroidered shorts by Anthropologie, which cost $70, features symbols indigenous to the Mixe community, in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec.

In its press release, the Ministry of Culture said that the collective property of Mexico's indigenous communities had been privatized by the fashion labels. In the past, Mexico has accused French designer Isabel Marant of using a pattern created by the Purepecha community and in 2019, the ministry accused Carolina Herrera of using Mexican patterns "without permission, without respect, without any economic consideration."