August 09, 2013

H&M removes faux headdresses

H&M pulls 'hipster' headdresses after complaints of cultural insensitivityFashion chain H&M has removed a faux headdress from its Canadians stores after receiving complaints that the accessories were making a mockery of aboriginal culture.

Kim Wheeler first spotted the brightly coloured feathered hair bands last week at a store in Vancouver and emailed the Sweden-based company to tell them she found the headwear offensive.

Wheeler, who is an Ojibwa-Mohawk from Winnipeg, told CTV News Channel Friday that they were not appropriate, as headdresses are traditional garb worn by Indian chiefs.

“They are a sign of honour and respect and leadership, they’re not a cute accessory to be worn in a nightclub while people are dancing to music,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler refuted suggestions that the headdresses were a sign of respect.

“I appreciate where people are coming from and that they want to say ‘we’re respecting you,’ but it really isn’t,” she said. “There are other ways that we can respect our culture instead of wearing colourful faux headdresses.”
Comment:  For more on hipster headdressses, see Nicole Ritchie Dressed as "Indian" and Half-Naked Drummer Dressed as "Indian."

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