In Stella McCartney’s 2017 Paris Fashion Week runway show, her SS18 collection featured a range of garments which utilised wax print/ankara material normally associated with African fashion and often called African print across the African Diaspora and African continent. Many people were offended and outraged by the use of this material in the collection, accusing Stella McCartney of cultural appropriation and for the fact that there was a serious lack of ethnic diversity among the models that were selected to wear the garments in the show. Here is a video of the runway show in Paris:
There were numerous features online which highlighted this outrage and whilst it caused a stir, I can’t say that it was a PR crisis for the very fact that this year the collection was launched in stores and was not withdrawn. Lack of inclusion in fashion is a serious problem and so any outrage concerning that was most certainly justified, however with regards to cultural appropriation that is another issue entirely particularly as it relates to material that historically though made popular by people of African descent does not originate in an African nation as such. Watch my #TalkTimeWithRonke video to find out my thoughts – feel free to share your thoughts too.
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) October 31, 2015