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By
AFP-Relaxnews
Published
Nov 17, 2020
Reading time
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Designer Isabel Marant apologises for Mexican appropriation

By
AFP-Relaxnews
Published
Nov 17, 2020

French fashion designer Isabel Marant has apologized after the Mexican government criticized her for appropriating and selling clothes based on traditional indigenous patterns.


Isabel Marant at her Fall-Winter 2020 show in Paris - © PixelFormula


Marant heads the latest fashion brand to be condemned by the Mexican government for copying indigenous designs, with similar complaints levelled against Spanish retail giants Zara and Mango.

Culture minister Alejandra Frausto Guerrero published an open letter earlier this month demanding an explanation as to why her Paris-based company was selling garments based on motifs with documented origins in Mexico.


A cape by Isabel Marant that received criticism for perceived cultural appropriation



One includes a cape that appears to copy a pattern used by the Purepecha community of northwestern Michoacan state, which retails on the fashion house's website for 490 euros ($580).

Marant acknowledged to Frausto that Purepecha textiles had influenced her latest collection and said future designs would properly "pay tribute to our sources of inspiration".

"If the Isabel Marant house and the designer have disrespected the Purepecha community... they implore you, and the country you represent, to accept their most sincere apologies," said a letter from Marant, dated November 6 but made public on Frausto's Twitter feed late on Monday.

In recent years Mexico has sought to publicly shame multinational brands that it has accused of ransacking the cultural heritage of poor villagers.

Some of the country's leaders have also pushed to toughen a copyright law that already protects traditional patterns to punish "plagiarism that different indigenous peoples have suffered".
 

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