Tansy Hoskins was featured in The Guardian on Thursday, writing about cultural appropriation in the fashion industry. With an emphasis on Urban Outfitters’ trivialisation of the Native American Navajo tribe, Hoskins reminds us that despite Urban Outfitters backing down and removing the word Navajo from their products (but not halting sales of the products), cultural appropriation is alive and well in the fashion industry, and cases like this one represent the lack of cultural diversity at the top.
This is not the first time Urban Outfitters has been accused of racial insensitivity. In 2004, it started selling a t-shirt with the words “everyone loves a Jewish girl”, surrounded by dollar signs. In 2008, another t-shirt appeared, this time depicting a child holding an AK-47 over the word “Victimized”. Only last year did yet another t-shirt appear, adorned with a five-point star that strongly resembled the star Jews were made to wear in Nazi Germany.
Tansy Hoskins’ book, Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion is a unique critical examination of contemporary culture and the distorting priorities of capitalism. It combines insider interviews with historical narrative to reveal the truth behind the fashion industry.
It is available for pre-order here for just £13.50, due to release 20th January 2014. Or click the cover image below.