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Critics and designers were so outraged at what they thought of as profiteering from something that so distinctly belongs to the Pakistani community, that they set up a petition against the Paul Smith variation of the chappals.
Paul Smith’s website then amended the name of The Robert but didn’t credit the Pakhtun people that pioneered the design.
Chief Elk believes that what’s happening in the fashion world “ is an extension of continued violence against indigenous people” in which designers and fashion houses cherry pick things deemed to be in vogue rather than really enriching themselves and educating the masses on the significance of these designs.
Large profits are being made, but credit isn’t given equally.
Bethany’s designs are from the Crow people,” an indigenous tribe whose territory spanned from Wyoming to North Dakota, and who now are a part of the federally-recognized Crow Tribe of Montana.
Bethany’s prints and designs are “directly handed down in her family line” says Chief Elk.
There are plenty of examples of respectful engagement between a people and a clothing company like the partnership of Aborigines and Native Americans in the Nike N7 collection.” The 2013 collection saw Nike working in collaboration with Aboriginal and Indigenous charities and representatives to contribute to the design of the striking garments.Like many other in the community, art and craft, culture and spirituality are all intertwined.This makes the debate over designers appropriating accessories and features like feathers and beadwork a sensitive one. When is it OK for someone’s cultural heritage to become a seasonal trend to grace the catwalks of New York, Milan and London?Fashion house KTZ has outraged indigenous people with designs that some in the community say, have crossed the line when it comes to “borrowing” from Native American culture.