Marc Jacobs Apologizes After Comments on NYFW Faux Dreadlocks ‘Cultural Appropriation’

Marc Jacobs has changed his tone after firing off a visceral response to those who criticized him of “cultural appropriation.”

The designer took to Instagram on Sept. 18 to clarify recent comments he made on the social media network after he was slammed for sending a mostly white lineup of models down the runway on Sept. 15 at New York Fashion Week styled in faux wool dreadlocks.

“I have read all your comments…” Jacobs began. “And I thank you for expressing your feelings. I apologize for the lack of sensitivity unintentionally expressed by my brevity. I wholeheartedly believe in freedom of speech and freedom to express oneself though art, clothes, words, hair, music…EVERYTHING. Of course I do ‘see’ color but I DO NOT discriminate. THAT IS A FACT! Please continue to express your feelings freely but do it kindly. Nothing is gained from spreading hate by name calling and bullying.”

After his show wrapped on Sept. 15 — which included Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss, among other white models, wearing dreadlocks — Jacobs responded on Instagram to detractors who accused him of “cultural appropriation.” The three black models who appeared in the show were Jourdan Dunn, Ellen Rosa and Binx Walton.

marc jacobs spring 2017 nyfw dreadlocks
Kendall Jenner wears dreadlocks at Marc Jacobs' spring 2017 presentation at New York Fashion Week.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

Jacobs defended his creative decision in the comments section on his brand’s Instagram page, calling the reaction “nonsense.” Critics argued that black women sometimes face discrimination and other repercussions when they wear dreadlocks and other natural hairstyles.

“All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner — funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair,” Jacobs commented. “I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race — I see people.”

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