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ATTN Comme Des Garçons: Cornrow Wigs are Not Fashionable, it’s Cultural Appropriation

Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons has received backlash once again on racist claims.  The brand, for their fall/winter 2020 men’s collection, had sent white models down the runway in cornrowed, lace front wigs.

This is not the first time the brand has had to issue a statement due to racism.  In 2018, fashion journalist, Christopher Niquet, posted on his Instagram story stating that Comme des Garçons had not hired a black model in the last ten years.  Martin Lerma, a writer for Heroine, confirmed this theory in an article where he scoured all of Vogue’s runway shows from the brand in the last ten years and found the exact same results favoring a heavy preference towards Eastern European women. 

Many claim that this is a ploy to create buzz for the new collection, even if it is not in a positive light. Many brands have been accused of very blatant racism and cultural appropriation within the last couple of years, including Gucci and Prada.  

The hairstylist, Julien d’Ys, took to Instagram to share an apology.

“Dear all, My inspiration for the Comme des Garçons show was Egyptian prince a look I found truly beautiful and inspirational. A look that was an hommage.  Never was it my intention to hurt or offend anyone, ever. If I did I deeply apologize…” 



Commes des Garçons also issued an apology to Dazed.

“The inspiration for the headpieces for Comme des Garçons menswear FW’20 show was the look of an Egyptian prince. It was never ever our intention to disrespect or hurt anyone – we deeply and sincerely apologize for any offense it has caused.”

No further action from the brand has been taken.

Madison Paloski is a senior at Lasell University studying fashion communication and promotion and graphic design.  She is currently the Editor in Chief of her school's chapter of Her Campus, an editorial stylist for POLISHED Magazine and Founder and Creative Director of the Fashion Styling and Photography Club on her campus.  She can most likely be found with an old film camera in hand, eating Chipotle, or at any local Saver's.  Her Instagram can be found at @maddiiiooyx and other work can be found at madisonpaloski.wixsite.com/portfolio.
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