Comme des Garçons apologise for putting white models in cornrow wigs
"It was never ever our intention to disrespect or hurt anyone."
Comme des Garçons have apologised for putting their white models in cornrow wigs.
The Japanese fashion label received much criticism for making their models wear the lace front wigs during last week's AW20 Paris show.
Some black models also appeared on the runway wearing the wigs, while others wore their natural hair.
The decision has been dubbed as deeply problematic and a distinct example of cultural appropriation from many figures of note including activist Adwoa Aboah, model Munroe Bergdorf, and copycat fashion Instagram account, Diet Prada.
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Back in 2018, @commedesgarcons cast their first black models in over 20 years for their FW18 show, following critical comments from netizens who noticed they hadn’t featured a black model since 1994. Last night, the avant-garde Japanese label seemed to have taken a step back with their men’s show, this time putting white models in cornrow wigs. Some black models also sported the wigs, while some wore their own hair. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Vogue Runway called them “odd”, which is a curious statement in itself, considering the stigma and discrimination of natural hair and hairstyles that embrace cultural identity (braids, Bantu knots, twists and locs). It was only in 2015 that Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic said that Zendaya’s dreadlocks at the Oscars made her look like she “smells like patchouli oil or weed”. Suffice it to say, CDG’s decision to appropriate the braided hairstyles for white models is indeed problematic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the positive side, more states are legislating to ban race-based hair discrimination, following New York and California’s decision in 2019. Dieters, what do you think about the wigs at Comme des Garçons? The look on the model’s faces say it all, don’t you think? • #commedesgarcons #culturalappropriation #pfw #pfwm #pfw20 #cornrows #wig #wigs #caucasity #commepocracy #reikawakubo #adrianjoffe #discrimination #hair #naturalhairstyles #locs #locstyles #blackhair #blackhairstyles #naturallycurly #protectivestyles #goodhair #model #malemodel #avantgarde #cdgconverse #cdgplay #cdg #vogue #dietprada
"Back in 2018, @commedesgarcons cast their first black models in over 20 years for their FW18 show, following critical comments from netizens who noticed they hadn’t featured a black model since 1994," said the latter.
"Last night, the avant-garde Japanese label seemed to have taken a step back with their men’s show, this time putting white models in cornrow wigs."
Commes des Garçons have since apologised for using the cornrow wigs, stating that they were inspired by "the look of an Egyptian prince."
"The inspiration for the headpieces for Commes des Garçons menswear FW'20 was the look of an Egyptian prince," a spokesperson told Dazed.
"It was never ever our intention to disrespect or hurt anyone – we deeply and sincerely apologise for any offence it has caused."
The show's stylist Julian d'Y shared a similar statement to his own Instagram page, writing:
"My inspiration for the Comme des Garçons show was Egyptian prince. A Look I found truly beautiful and inspirational.
"A look that was an homage. Never was it my intention to hurt or offend anyone , ever. If I did I deeply apologize.”