Marc Jacobs Responds to Accusations of Cultural Appropriation: ‘You Straighten Your Hair!’

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Models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner wear faux locs for Marc Jacobs fashion show
Models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner wear faux locs for the Marc Jacobs fashion show (Twitter)

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs drew the ire of social media for culturally appropriating faux locs at his recent fashion show.

White models donned the style to close out this year’s New York Fashion week, according to Essence. Once online users called him out for not crediting the style to Black culture, the 53-year-old fired back.

Speaking to Allure magazine, Guido, the lead stylist for the spring show, said the inspiration for the style came from Jacob’s friend Lana Wachowski, who wears brightly colored locs. Guido also cited Boy George and Japanese Harajuku girls among the influences.

However, Guido did not mention Black entertainers like George Clinton, Bob Marley, Lisa Bonet and the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“As with any hairstyle for a fashion show, we look at tons of references,” he explained to the beauty magazine. “So the look ends up being a result of many different inspirations and cultural references. It’s never about just looking at one thing or one reference point—it’s a melting pot of ideas.”

The backlash came in droves on Instagram.

User petitefireyone announced she would unfollow Jacobs.

“I’m so disappointed,” she added.

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Lindsey had this to say about models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner’s “groundbreaking” appearance.

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Kellikelzz commented on the models wearing Black people “as costumes” but alluded to them removing it in the face of issues like police brutality and racial injustice.

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Jacobs responded to the outcry by coming down on minority women who straighten their hair.

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“All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race of skin color wearing their hair in a particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair,” he wrote in part. “I don’t see color or race – I see people,” he continued. “I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded…Love is the answer.”

Because of the reply, commenters launched more criticism on the designer.

Paige thought Jacobs would have been better off keeping his mouth shut.

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Anissa said Jacob’s “sad” comment exposed who he really is. Then, she told fellow commenters not to spend “another dollar on this ignorant man’s s—“cultural-appropriation-marc-jacobs-response-1In response to the backlash, the Marc Jacobs fashion Instagram account posted photos of Black model Riley Montana in faux locs. The photos were uploaded after Jacobs fired back at accusations of cultural appropriation.

@loveme_rileym backstage at our Spring '17 show ✨ Watch it now on marcjacobs.com

A photo posted by Marc Jacobs (@marcjacobs) on

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