Marc Jacobs admits SS17 dreadlocks were ‘insensitive’

The designer was criticised for cultural appropriation following the show which featured mostly white models

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Marc Jacobs SS17 NYFW Womenswear Dazed
Backstage at Marc Jacobs SS17Courtesy of Marc Jacobs

While you might have forgotten about Marc Jacobscultural appropriation scandal that followed his SS17 show, he hasn’t. In a recent interview with InStyle, Jacobs seems to have backtracked from his original viewpoint on the matter, admitting “Maybe I’ve been insensitive.”

Inspired by cyber goths, all of the models in the show wore candy-coloured dreadlocks which critics said was problematic, as the majority of them were white. In fact, of the 52 looks in the show, less than ten were models of colour.

Jacobs responded to critics on Instagram saying, “All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race of skin colour wearing their hair in a particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticize women of colour for straightening their hair.” If that didn’t rile up people enough he went on to say, “I don’t see colour or race- I see people,” which many saw as dismissive of racism in general. He did follow with another apology but claimed that he believes in freedom of speech and to be able to express himself through art, clothes, hair etc. 

It seems that Jacobs has given the controversy some further thought, going on in the interview to say: “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.” Although there is a lot of repetition of the word maybe, it is at least a step in the right direction. 

While there is uncertainty around the brand, following rumours that the upcoming SS18 will be his last – although Jacobs has responded saying that they are false – we can be certain that there won’t be any dreadlocks on his runway anytime soon. 

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