Zara has come under fire from social media users, as one of the high-street giant’s recent designs is being called out as an example of cultural appropriation.
The Spanish retailer is currently selling a checked skirt on its website which bears a striking resemblance to the traditional ‘lungi’, worn by men throughout Southeast Asia.
Despite its £69.99 price tag, the sarong-style garment tends to retail on market stalls for a mere couple of pounds throughout Sri Lanka, India and Nepal.
Customers have taken to Twitter to call out the Inditex-owned label for cultural appropriation:
Looks Zara selling this Lungi for $70. pic.twitter.com/TEvVkqnpqs
— فزلور (@fazlurism) January 30, 2018
— ? Sally Lin • 林樾 ? (@sallyyuelin) January 30, 2018
Elizabeth Segran, a writer who grew up in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, criticised the brand in a piece for US magazine Fast Company: “I am not the only one who is a little peeved by this casual cultural appropriation. Asian Twitter just went up in arms.”
“One tweeter makes the very good point that the workers making this skirt were probably wearing sarongs pretty similar to it, since Zara makes garments in many Asian countrie,” she continued. “And given Zara’s track record, it’s unclear whether they were paid a decent wage for doing so.”
But it’s not the first time the high-street retailer has faced backlash for its tone-deaf designs; Zara came under fire for featuring alt-right hate symbols on its garments last year.
The brand has yet to comment.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK