By Wendi Muse
But every now and then, in their attempt to be cute, they sometimes go over the border of taste. And I am not just talking about the shoe designs. I am talking about the names.
For this season’s collection, the mouth-open moment came with a (hideous) purse I noticed on the site. With its blue shredded shingles and background of miniature prints of cartoon natives, the “Squaw Shopper” takes the cake, winning an A+ in offensive. Maybe if this were the 1950s and this bag were geared to children it wouldn’t be so shocking, but in 2009, the jig is up. What’s most offensive is that they used the word “Squaw” in the name. They could have named it something else that touched on the whimsical indigenous theme without resorting to an offensive term. Maybe this is some sort of Thanksgiving joke I missed?
Among the background images are what appear to be a big-nosed, half-naked, blue Indian with a bow and arrow, a teepee, a bow and arrow by itself, some sort of feather headdress with sunglasses, a deer, and perhaps a blue canoe and a green ear of corn. In other words, a odd assortment of Indian stereotypes.
The purse's name is stupid, of course. It ignores the widespread disapproval of the word "squaw." And there are so many other names that would've worked just as well. Blue Dreadlocks, Blue Spaghetti, Blue Seaweed, and on and on.
For more on the subject, see and Squelching the S-Word.