marc jacobs apologizes for putting white models in dreadlocks

'Maybe I’ve been insensitive.'

by Hannah Ongley
07 August 2017, 10:45pm

Marc Jacobs spring/summer 17. Photography Mitchell Sams.

Marc Jacobs has always been unfiltered on Instagram, for better or for worse. One of the not-so-shining social media moments came after his spring/summer 17 show, during which a mostly white cast of models wore pastel-colored dreadlocks, a look he originally said was inspired by his friend Lana Wachowski. Addressing the accusations of cultural appropriation, Jacobs responded by attempting to draw a comparison between white women wearing dreadlocks and women of color straightening their hair. "Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing," he wrote to his detractors. "Think about it." He later apologized for that defense in a caption under text that read, "I HAVE READ ALL YOUR COMMENTS…"

Almost a year later, Jacobs has apologized for failing to acknowledge the tangled history of dreadlocks, telling InStyle , "Maybe I've been insensitive." Apparently he took his own advice and did some thinking. "What I learned from that whole thing, what caused me to pause after it died down a little bit, was that maybe I just don't have the language for this, or maybe I've been insensitive because I operate so inside my little bubble of fashion," Jacobs said.

It's not like the designer has shied away from referencing other cultures in the wake of the controversy. His fall/winter 17 show in February proved he learned a lesson long before his most recent apology, showing an ode to the birth of NYC hip-hop on a hyper-diverse cast including Winnie Harlow, Adwoa Aboah, Slick Woods, and Lineisy Montero. The show's title? "Respect," according to Jacobs's show notes.


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram

marc jacobs
Cultural Appropriation
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spring/summer 17