Victoria’s Secret has been forced to apologise for an American Indian-style headdress, which was modelled by Karlie Kloss on the catwalk of its annual Fashion Show.
The lingerie giant’s Facebook page was inundated with hundreds of complaints over the outfit, which members of the public claimed sent out a culturally in appropriate message.
Charlene Hunt wrote: “Being a Native American woman and mother, I am disgusted at the recent picture of your non-Native model dressed inappropriately with a war bonnet on her head, not to mention all the other culturally wrong messages this image sends to the world. We are a culture who takes pride and respect in our women, children and elders. Our regalia is NOT a fashion statement!”
Victoria Pilkington added: “Absolutely deplorable that Victoria’s Secret is not culturally aware enough to not mock native nations. To have someone come on stage with a headdress and borrowing several symbols from various nations is awful. Would you also choose to have your models dress as nuns or priests or rabbis, or maybe in something like the painted faced minstrels of the old south.”
Victoria’s Secret later published a public apology on its Facebook page, where it has 20 million fans, assuring the offended parties that the outfit in question would be cut from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show broadcast on CBS, on December 4.
The statement read: "We are sorry that the Native American headdress replica used in our recent fashion show has upset individuals… We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone.
"Out of respect, we will not be including the outfit in any broadcast, marketing materials nor in any other way."
Model Karlie Kloss also apologised for any offence caused, writing on her Twitter page: "I am deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone. I support VS’s decision to remove the outfit from the broadcast."
This is not the not only high profile incident, relating to Native American culture, that has taken place in the US over the past few months.
No Doubt was recently forced to withdraw its music video for new single Looking Hot, which depicted singer Gwen Stefani as an Indian princess being captured by cowboys and subsequently rescued by an Indian chief.