There is an ongoing debate about where we draw the line between appreciating other cultures and appropriating them.
Fashion brands, magazines, celebrities and the like have been in the spotlight for hijacking cultures that they do not belong to and do not properly or respectfully represent.
With that in mind, the news of luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana’s new “Abaya Collection” that features stylish abayas and hijabs has raised some questions about what society is willing to accept when it comes to the concept of "celebrating" culture.
Right now, the world is pretty much turning its back on Muslims. Between the refugee crisis and recent acts of terrorism that occurred in Paris, France and San Bernardino, California, Islamophobia has reached an all-time high since 9/11 and nearly everyday there seems to be a new attack on Muslims making headlines.
This leaves us wondering if Dolce & Gabbana’s new collection is meant to genuinely be inclusive and celebrate this marginalized community or if they are using a crucial, tense time to capitalize from all of the “hype” surrounding Muslims.
Picture it … “Muslim Woman Attacked Wearing Dolce & Gabbana Hijab.” Is that the kind of notoriety the company is after?
Other brands have reached out to the Muslim community with their products before but the timing of Dolce & Gabbana’s new line, ironically, coincides with many Islamophobes and fear-mongers denouncing and causing harm to women wearing hijabs because it represents Islam.
Furthermore, are any proceeds from the garments going toward aiding Muslims whose mosques have been destroyed or refugees left with virtually nothing? Or is this just another luxury product for the wealthy to flaunt in the name of “fashion?”
As this is a critical time for Muslims, one would think they deserve a little more recognition than fancy fabric that the average human being cannot even afford.
On the flip side:
Maybe it’s a good thing the roll out of this new line is happening now as a way to promote inclusiveness.
A well respected, luxury clothing brand outwardly supporting Muslims could be a way of taking a fashion-related baby step toward removing the stigma that surrounds Muslim garb.
It's hard to tell if they're even using real Muslim women in their promotional ads.
The women from several of the advertisements have a very fair-skinned, European look to them.
Those who practice the Islamic faith can be of various shades and races but ... that's the problem ... there isn't actually any variety among the models used in the ads.
Does the company think the garments would be better received by the general public if modeled by women who don't "look" Muslim?
If that is the case, then they are no better than all the people who are rejecting and excluding Muslims.
With so many factors to consider, it's truly difficult to decide where do we draw the line?
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