Sep 20, 2016 11:47AM

Marc Jacobs Responds To Cultural Appropriation Allegations, Still Doesn't Fully Get It

Is it too late now to say sorry?

Marc Jacobs accidentally started a cultural appropriation shit storm last week after he sent models with dreadlocks down the runway at his NYFW show. The choice to style models from a range of backgrounds in exaggerated, colourful dreddies was immediately slammed on the internet, but it was Marc's response that really got the people going. Marc defended the dreads in reply to a comment on one of his photos, writing:

"And all who cry 'cultural appropriation' or whatever nonsense about any race of skin colour wearing their hair in a particular style or manner - funny how you don't criticise women of colour for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don't see colour or race — I see people. I'm sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded… Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it."

These comments were seen as problematic for a bunch of reasons, but critics mainly took issue with the fact that Marc used a traditionally black hairstyle on a cast of mostly white models. Fair call. 

Marc also shared a Washington Post article that defended his show. The piece pointed out that the dreads were a reference to punk, Lana Wachowski and Boy George and argued that, given the inspiration was legit, the show was in no way disrespectful to black culture. Not sure if they've Googled the definition of cultural appropriation lately...

Today, Marc issued a formal apology for the whole shemozzle, saying that he meant no offence. But he still kind of missed the point:


There's no doubt we're living in a time where every decision is placed under a microscope and Marc, like the rest of us, is still learning. Here's hoping instances like this will help people understand how to appreciate and embrace a culture without appropriating it.

Photos: @marcjacobs@themarcjacobs

Lucy Jones