A new Adidas and Pharrell Williams line inspired by the annual Hindu spring festival of Holi has been met with accusations of cultural appropriation.
Williams introduced the spring/summer 2018 line of his Hu collection with the shoe brand, which is called “Hu Holi.” The collection of high-priced shoes, sweatshirts and shorts includes powder-dyed pops of color, reminiscent of the powders flung into the air during the “festival of colors.”
But the use of the holiday’s imagery — which Adidas described as “magic and beauty” — has rubbed many social media users the wrong way.
“Something about Adidas’ new collection screams cultural appropriation,” one user said. “Using our festival to sell a brand, and it’s shoes on top of it all, which Hindus would easily take offense too..and there’s not even an Indian celeb at the face of it.”
“Nnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooo,” someone else simply tweeted. “#culturalAppropriation.”
Another commented on the $25-$300 apparel.
“Uhhhhh @Pharrell and @adidas trying to make people dish out $200 for a ‘Holi Hoodie?,'” someone said. “You know people can wear anything white to Holi and get this look for free right? Not saying you’re trying to capitalize on a Hindu holiday but….🤔.”
Some people also took issue with the “Happy” singers apparently unhappy demeanor during a recent visit to India to celebrate Holi.
I cant handle this…. I hv not laughed so bad in a long long time. 😂😂😂😂😂😂
Pharrell’s holi in two pics..LMAO 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/XsqoOfMNUd
— Sha (@shampac) March 2, 2018
— Od (@odshek) March 2, 2018
“Hu was founded upon the principles of unity, equality, humanity, and color with an intention to explore humanity and celebrate diversity around the world,” an Adidas spokesperson told The Huffington Post in response to the criticism. “Together Adidas Originals and Pharrell Williams use the platform to help tell stories of others from around the globe.”