Major Japanese fashion label Comme des Garcons has apologized after featuring white male models wearing cornrows inspired by ancient Egyptians.
The fashion house showcased its men’s fall/winter 2020 line this past week at Paris Fashion Week, and audience members were shocked by the aesthetic the company’s white models were wearing. The models were dressed in bright colors, and cropped jackets with braided down lace front wigs plopped on their heads. Luckily, a few of Black models didn’t have to wear the caps because they could rock the style naturally on their own.
It didn’t take too long for the internet to react to the wigs, calling it cultural appropriation and noting that ancient Egyptians were, in fact, Black people, who described themselves as such. Others also pointed out the continuous negligence fashion company’s show towards Black culture and traditional/cultural Black hairstyles.
Like most backlash connected to exploiting Black culture, the incident was followed up with an apology from the house’s hair artist for the show, Julien d’Ys. Julien said the looks were inspired by ancient Egyptian princes and took to Instagram to explain his purpose for the wigs. “Dear all, My inspiration for the comme des garçons show was Egyptian prince A Look i found truly beautiful and inspirational,” he wrote. “A look that was an hommage. Never was it my intention to hurt or offend anyone , ever. If I did, I deeply apologize.”