The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is one of the most anticipated fashion events in the world. The most recent event took place in Shanghai on November 20, 2017, but will air on television November 28th. With its high production value and ability to attract millions of viewers all eyes are on the beautiful models wearing themed collections usually made specifically for the show.
This year’s runway featured 55 models with almost half being women of colour (including 17 black models) It was a record breaking year of diversity in the show. The brand also jumped into a theme meant to represent cultural diversity, which will likely land them in ‘hot water’ with the public.
The show, which is always divided into different themes and this year featured a collection called Nomadic Angel. It was meant to embrace culture from around the world and featured feathered headdresses that bore resemblance to Native American headpieces revered as a symbol of respect.
There was also an ensemble that featured large beaded neck pieces that were similar to those seen in parts of South Africa and among the Maasai tribes in Kenya and Tanzania.
The last time VS was criticized for copying pieces of indigenous culture, they were forced to issue a public apology. There’s a strong possibility it might happen again. I wonder if they will keep the segment in the televised show or if it will be edited to avoid controversy.
We live in a time when the conversations about cultural appropriation has become commonplace and often spark heated remarks on social media. Some say they are appreciating the styles, colours and creativity of other countries and races. While others feel it’s a violation of what’s sacred in their communities and shouldn’t be used for economic gain. Many say it’s a form of stealing or exploitation of what’s valued in their culture and traditions.
The questions will continue to be asked. Where does the line get drawn between appreciating a culture and exploiting it? Is there a place where balance can exist?
What do you think?
Photos: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Timur Emek/FilmMagic