Fashion, music, art — they all routinely mine the world’s bounty of riches for inspiration. But there’s an area where appreciation for someone else’s history and culture becomes straight-up appropriation and that is why allegations of insensitivity are being lobbed against fashion line Paul Frank.
For its Fashion’s Night Out celebration in New York City last week, Paul Frank held a “pow wow,” decked out its employees in neon “war paint” on their faces, and served drinks with names like “Neon Teepee” and “Rain Dance Refresher.” The advertisement depicted the signature Paul Frank monkey wearing a headdress inside a tee pee. As Hollywood Reporter described the actual event:
Glow-in-the-dark war-painted employees in feather headbands and bow and arrows invited guests to be photographed on a mini-runway holding prop tomahawks.
You can see pictures of guests — including the singer Christina Milian — posing with the “props” here.
Oof. Oof, I say!