More cultural appropriation backlash: this time, Armani Prive Runway is under fire.
The most recent cultural appropriation fashion controversy comes via the New York Times' Instagram account following Paris Haute Couture shows this week. In one post, a closeup of one model's hair, in which she had sleekly wrapped entirely around her head, had a caption that gave photo credit to the Giorgio Armani Privé Paris Fashion Week runway show. Many followers recognized the hairstyle as the 'doobie wrap' which is also referred to as a 'wrap' popularized by Black and Latina women, quickly calling out the fashion label for cultural appropriation, or failing to attribute the style to women of color. The post has been flooded with comments ever since.
One follower commented, “I do not have an issue with other races wearing or doing anything they want with hair or clothes, but stop pretending like it's new and innovative. [If] I walk the streets with my hair wrapped I am considered less fortunate or for lack of a better word, 'ghetto.'"
"You should probably take this down. This is a clear example of cultural appropriation," explained another user. "Black and brown women have been wrapping their hair just like this for decades. And now when white women do it, it's a fashion trend. I know you might not have known. But now that you do...please take this down. Thanks, the hundreds of black and brown women who are offended by this out of touch post."
Doobies originated from the Caribbean and are used to maintain the bounce and volume of naturally wavy, curly, and textured hair after a blow dry. In many hair salons for women of color, this technique wraps hair around the scalp, securing it with bobby pins to maintain volume and bounce once it has been washed, conditioned, and blow-dried.
But that’s not all.
The controversy even went further, as Instagram users realized that the hairstyle was not truly the “hair look” for Armani’s latest showing. On the runway, each model’s head was covered with an embroidered headpiece that included a netted black veil, complementing its new Parisian Chic collection.
Spokespeople for Armani have yet to comment on the event, but we promise to give you an update once we hear word from them. However, Armani shared the inspiration behind the collection in a statement:
“Sensations transform to become a source of inspiration cloaked in a halo of mystery. Ribbons of black patent leather completely encrusted with crystals, outlining floral contours; the magic of transparencies and veils; and the precious embroidery of haute couture. All this evokes the image of a mysterious and sensual woman.”
Interestingly enough, mainstream media has been perplexed about the 'wrap' for some time now. Back in 2013, Rihanna rocked a blinged-out version to the American Music Awards that left many wondering if she was short on time for makeup and hair for leaving her house this way.