Fashion has a finicky history with cultural appropriation, as designers routinely adopt sacred and ritualistic designs of foreign territories for purely aesthetic and decorative efforts. However, society has become more vociferous when pinpointing instances of cultural appropriation in more contemporary circumstances, with the most high-profile condemnations resulting in Coachella’s outright ban of Native American regalia.
Pharrell Williams and Adidas have found themselves in some hot water, as their latest Holi Festival-inspired collection has not been well received since its public debut. Their collaboration is inspired by the polychromatic essence of the celebration, which sees Hindus gather together to eat and drink, all while being covered in brightly-coloured powders. The collection is made up of pieces that are rendered in a vibrant colour palette that some have charged with being particularly insensitive to such a spiritual tradition.
Naturally, people have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment with the collection and its capitalist attempts to monetize a Hindu tradition.
Pharrell or Adidas have yet to address the controversy surrounding their latest collaborative effort. Additionally, peep the music superstar unenthusiastically partaking in this year’s Holi Festival.