February 9, 2013

The Case of the Chilkat Thief

Oh no.

What is Dalia Royce wearing on the latest episode of Suburgatory?

It is definitely a knock-off of a Chilkat blanket.

Now, we just need to figure out, who's the thief that stole this design from Northwest Coast artists? Native American art and culture do not exist in PUBLIC DOMAIN. Stop stealing.

I have a feeling that the wretched "cheap cheesy biter" Jeremy Scott is behind this. But if anybody has any leads on which exact biter stole this design from Native American artists, please send info this way.

Are Northwest Coast designs the new 'Aztec'?


  1. Hello , I have been reading about this Jeremy Scott issue, At first i really loved the collection & frankly also the skirt in this image (there is also a jacket & collection to follow - designer's name end of post). However, being a creative based in Lebanon (Middle East) your posts & reads gave me much needed perspective i think, I quickly recalled how Offended I felt & how disappointed I was when Fashion labels & random people where wearing the Palestinian scarves, which are a sign & symbol of a long term struggle & honorable resistance. By this action they have been reduced to a speedy consumable product void of any original meaning. I think this a very similar case where an entire culture is reduced in order to serve a designer's or brand's lack of better judgment when it comes to a fast buck & some media hype.

    however, would like to ask you , given your background don't you have the slightest feeling that when designers do such appropriations, regardless of their commercial purposes, they also help in extending cultures & heritage to other corners of the world, and by that aiding cross cultural interaction (example my case in particular for example) would love to hear from you.

    The designer for the skirt is Jean Charles de Castelbajac, the entire collection is in fact based on such prints. Full link to collection here:

  2. so weird i left a long comment here , I saw it up & now its not

  3. Depending on when the art was created, it might actually be in public domain. Do you know when the artist died?

  4. While I do think this is a form of exploitation, I also think that it draws positive attention to NWC art.

  5. The question isn't "an artist" as the article clearly states " a Chilkat blanket." Chilkat comes up as a weaving style and design used by "Northwest Coast peoples of Alaska and British Columbia"(Wikipedia).

    There is no public domain here because it is a direct reflection of a people's native culture. To appropriate the design (it really is a direct rip-off of the traditional designs), is shameful and the pinnacle of uncreativity.

    People want to make it okay to use the native designs however they see fit, but a culture is not a fashion trend. Fashion cheapens the rich cultural history of native people who have a history of being oppressed.

    Yes, there is a point when we stop apologizing for what our ancestors did to a people. That doesn't mean we forget what happened or that the native culture up for grabs for t-shirts and clever little headdresses for our children to run around in.

  6. Sorry, no. This is just a cheezy imitation, enough so we know it is supposed to look like a Chilkat blanket but unknowledgeable enough that it would make anyone blink/snikker/blanch/barf who knows Chilkat weaving.

  7. "Depending on when the art was created, it might actually be in public domain."

    Technically it is defiantly in public domain.


    I dont understand the attitude adopted in this article. If I create a blog that focuses on Italian style should some Italian be able to complain to me about "biting" their style because I am American and they are Italian. Should I, as a B-Boy, accuse the author of the article of cultural theft for using the word "biter"? How is it that you exist in the world, influence the world, and hold an expectancy for all people to never act on that influence that you are responsible for in the first place. Just the use of the word "biter" is an anti-thesis to the statement the article is trying to make.

  8. Hey, The comments section here is really confusing since every comment is labeled as being by the same person

    1. We were using a comment platform called Disqus, but it stopped working and made it so that no one could comment on any post, so we uninstalled it, and it messed up all the existing comment data. Technology.