Mexico’s culture ministry on Wednesday questioned dressing fashion designer Isabel Marant’s use of patterns from indigenous Mexican communities, marking the government’s latest complaint over high-fashion brands appropriating native styles.
According to the ministry, Marant’s latest collection, including a long cape with stripes and starburst designs in gray and brown hues, includes elements from the Purepecha people of Mexico’s Michoacan state.
“I ask you, Ms. Isabel Marant, to publicly provide an explanation for on what grounds you privatize a collective property … and how its use benefits the author communities,” Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto said in a letter to the designer.
“Some symbols that you took have a deep meaning for this culture,” Frausto said, urging protection for the artisans who have historically been “invisible.”
Marant’s company, Isabel Marant, did not immediately respond to a request for remark. The brand’s website says it is dedicated to ethical and responsible behaviour.
In 2015, the company used to be in a similar way accused of incorporating designs from Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca.
Final year, Mexico called out Venezuela-born designer Carolina Herrera and dressing fashion house Louis Vuitton for the use of traditional patterns in their designs, without regard for the people who first brought them to life.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)
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