A popular Australian fashion brand apologized for being « inspired » by an indigenous Mexican design after a $ 795 beach dress sparked massive backlash on social media.
The brand’s paneled tunic dress is part of a new swim collection and features a distinctive cross-stitch peacock design on the chest.
But in Mexico, many quickly saw similarities between this dress and the traditional garb of the Mazatecs in the state of Oaxaca.
It wasn’t just the peacocks, either: other similarities pointed out on Mexican social media were sewn flowers and blue-and-pink ribbons.
According to El Universal newspaper, some members of the Mazatec indigenous community felt that its design and use as casual beachwear was disrespectful to their culture.
Community officials reached out to the state government, which issued a statement condemning the garment by the Oaxacan Institute of Handicrafts (IOA).
The company addressed the issue on a Facebook post, saying it « confirms » that the dress « was inspired by what we now consider a traditional garment from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. »
« We apologize for the use without proper recognition of the cultural owners of this form of clothing and for the crime it has caused, » the statement continued.
« Although the bug was inadvertent when it was brought to our attention today, the article was immediately withdrawn from all Zimmermann stores and our website. We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again in the future. »
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