Paris (AFP) – Japanese fashion brand Comme des Garcons was at the centre of a cultural appropriation row Sunday after it sent out white models in what appeared to be cornrow wigs at its Paris men’s fashion week show.
The self-appointed fashion watchdog Diet Prada — which has a record of pulling up labels on racial insensitivity including the notorious Gucci “blackface” jumper – accused the cult brand of “taking a step back”.
Comme des Garcons was criticised in 2018 for reportedly not using a black model for more than 20 years.
Diet Prada, which has 1.7 million followers on Instagram and uses the platform to regularly chide labels, said even those taking part in the show seemed embarrassed.
“The look on the models’ faces says it all,” it claimed.
While the brand itself has remained tight-lipped, the French hair stylist responsible for the look took to Instagram to defend it.
Julien Dys said it was meant as a reference to the ancient Egyptians and not cornrows.