anger as the traditional african dashiki is declared "the newest it-item of note"

'New' really isn't the right word.

Aug 20 2015, 3:00pm


Today, Canadian Elle got burned for branding the dashiki -- a traditional African garment -- "the newest It-item of note" as if it had appeared out of the ether yesterday. Of course, the dashiki has a deep, West African history. So, when the article asks, "Is the dashiki the new kaftan?" it's pretty clear the answer is no, because neither garment is 'new'. 

This is far from an isolated incident. From cornrows to bindis, people of color continually have important parts of their culture packaged and passed off as "trends." Just last month, Amandla Stenberg explained that Kylie Jenner's silence on black issues, but frequent appropriation of black culture wasn't okay. In April, the founder of the Reclaim The Bindi movement told i-D "You shouldn't take cultural artifacts with immense amounts of significance and reduce them down to a fashion statement." At this point, continued tone-deafness is almost laughable.


Text Isabelle Hellyer