Mexico says Zara, Anthropologie and Patowl have used distinctive patterns from Mexico’s indigenous communities and has asked each brand to provide a “public explanation on what basis it could privatize collective ownership”.
Mexico has accused international fashion brands Zara, Anthropologie and Patowl of cultural appropriation, saying they used patterns of Mexican indigenous groups in their designs without any benefit to communities.
Mexico’s Ministry of Culture said in a statement Friday that it had sent letters signed by Mexico’s culture minister, Alejandra Frausto, to the three world companies, asking each of them for a “public explanation on what basis could privatize the property. school “.
The Ministry of Culture said Zara, owned by Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer, wore a distinctive pattern from the indigenous Mixtec community of San Juan Colorado, east of Oaxaca.
“The design in question was not intentionally borrowed or influenced by the art of the Mixtec people of Mexico,” Inditex said in a statement sent to Reuters news agency.
Anthropologie, owned by URBN, used a design developed by the Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec Indigenous Mixed Community, while Patowl copied a pattern from the Zapotec indigenous community of San Antonino Castillo Velasco, both in the state of Oaxaca, according to the Ministry. of Culture.
URBN and Patowl did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The degree to which fashion designers have benefited from the incorporation of cultural designs without recognizing their origins or compensating enough communities has been a point of discussion in recent years.
In 2019, the Mexican government accused the fashion house Carolina Herrera of cultural appropriation of Mexican indigenous patterns and textiles in its collection.
Carolina Herrera’s parent, Puig, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In 2019, Herrera’s creative director, Wes Gordon, said the collection “pays homage to the richness of Mexican culture”.