January 18, 2010

Article | "Africa" is out. "Native American" is in. (And cultural appropriation never goes out of style, apparently.)

Check out this article (from my friend Consuelo) written by Dodai for Jezebel about the latest trend of the Tribal Trend (Africa is out... Native American is in)...

Rachel Zoe Pronounces Tribal Trend So Hot Right Now

This article is packed with great quotes like "Gone native is the title of the latest Zoe Report missive. Indigenous peoples, this is your moment!" and "Ethnic is such a catch-all, but what she and other people who use it this way mean is: Not white. (Did you know that the first dictionary definition of ethnic is heathen?)" Ahh great great quotes.

The highlight of the entire article, perhaps, is when the author writes this:

"But the point is this: Navajo blankets were woven to be used and traded by people who were routinely massacred. Modern Navajo rugs are quite pricey, but you're getting a handmade craft whose sale most likely contributes to the economy of the Navajo Nation, where the unemployment level fluctuates between an overall 40 and 45 percent and in some communities is high as 85 percent... No disrespect to young designer Lindsey Thornberg, but the price for one of her "ethnic" cloaks is $950. You could get an actual Navajo blanket woven recently for less than $500, or a blanket woven in 1890 for $975. Up to you."

The article also has links to tons of examples of 'cultural borrowing' from Native American sources - American Apparel, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria's Secret, Urban Outfitters, and magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Teen Vogue don't escape the eye of this author.

And, to top it off with a lil cherry, the comments to the article are nice added bonuses.