Chanel is offering a public apology for offending the Native American community with headdress-cum-high fashion duds at the Chanel-Dallas Metiers d'Art show.
The show was held Tuesday at Fair Park, a national historic landmark in Dallas. More than 1000 fashion devotees stepped out for the event, including Kristen Stewart, who was announced to be face of the line on Dec. 11. Dakota Fanning, Lauren Hutton, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and other major names in fashion were in attendance.
Shortly after runway photos for the show appeared online, the Internet began to buzz about the collection’s influences, which beyond cowboy culture included looks that featured long white headdresses and feathered separates.
After receiving substantial backlash, the brand issued an apology (of sorts) on Friday: "The Chanel-Dallas Metiers d'Art 2013/2014 collection is a celebration of the beauty of Texas. Native Americans are an integral part of Texas's rich history and culture and the feather headdress, a symbol of strength and bravery, is one of the most visually stunning examples of the creativity and craftsmanship they possessed. We deeply/sincerely apologize if it has been misinterpreted or if it is seen as offensive as it was really meant as a tribute to the beauty of craftmanship."
Chanel is not the only major brand that has come under fire for appropriating Native American culture in a runway show: last year, Victoria's Secret included a headdress number in its annual fashion presentation too. Fashion retailers Urban Outfitters and H&M had similar controversies with "Navajo" prints and neon headdress headbands in stores, respectively.
In response to the outcry from the Native American community, Victoria's Secret apologized over Twitter and edited the outfit from the TV broadcast of the runway show. Karlie Kloss, who wore the headdress while scantily-clad in lingerie, also apologized on her Twitter account.