The artist and producer apologized for wearing a Native American headdress on the cover of the fashion mag’s UK edition.
By Reggie Ugwu
Many Native Americans and others were upset about the appropriation of the garment, which is considered to be the sacred garb of chiefs and warriors. They created the “#NotHappy” hashtag on Twitter.
Ashley Mocosa @mocosamoments
I'm seriously disappointed in @Pharrell for wearing a war bonnet on the cover of @ELLEmagazine #nothappy
Aparna Balakumar @OnceAPARNATime
Urgh. Why does the fashion industry insist on turning sacred cultural items into fashion props? #NOTHappy @ELLEUK
“I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture,” Pharrell says. “I am genuinely sorry.”
Elle UK has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Singer faces backlash after fans take to social media to say cultural appropriation is 'not cool'
By Connie Walker
Chanel, Victoria's Secret, H&M, Urban Outfitters and Paul Frank have also come under fire for inappropriately using First Nations symbols or imagery in their fashions.
Although, offenders are often quick to apologize and claim they are attempting to honour First Nations culture, some say it is insulting and perpetuates stereotypes of indigenous people.