Comme Des Garçons Apologises For Using Cornrow Wigs On White Models
Fashion brand Comme des Garçons has been accused of cultural appropriation for sending white models out on the runway wearing cornrow wigs.
The Japanese clothing brand was criticised after its models walked the Paris Fashion Week catwalk sporting the hairstyle.
The wigs were used to show off the brands autumn and winter collection.
The reaction on social media after the show was swift, with some finding the use of the wigs 'offensive', while others found it 'funny'.
According to fashion magazine Dazed, Comme des Garçons hairstylist Julien d'Ys (pronounced dees) dismissed the uproar as "stupide", French for stupid.
But the mounting backlash to the wigs prompted him to defend his styling, saying he was inspired by an "Egyptian prince look" and that he didn't intend to offend anyone.
Instagram and Twitter blew up after this comment, with some questioning the hairstylist as to why he did not use African or dark-skinned models in his homage to Egyptian prince look.
The company, founded by Rei Kawakubo, has been criticised before. In 2018 the company was accused of lack of diversity in its models.
The hairstylist later took to Instagram to apologise. The brand has also apologised for "any offence caused".
"My inspiration for the Comme des Garçons show was Egyptian prince, a look I found truly beautiful and inspirational," d'Ys wrote.
Never was it my intention to hurt or offend anyone, ever. If I did I deeply apologise.
The model line-up contained three dark-skinned models, one of whom was wearing a wig while the other two used their own hair.
d'Y's received supportive messages from fashion elites, photographers and stylists.
The fashion industry has a recent history of cultural appropriation woes and accusations of racist conduct.
Last year Burburry apologised for a noose hoodie, Dolce & Gabbana's 2018 campaign was accused of racism after it used a Chinese model eating pizza and pasta with chopsticks.
Both Gucci and Prada have been accused of racism after items released by the brands were compared to blackface.