Fashion retailer Topshop has made an incredibly egregious mistake and Twitter is having none of it.
The company’s “festival-ready” scarf playsuit on its website sparked ire from the internet for its very close resemblance to the Palestinian keffiyeh scarf.
"Get festival-ready with this cute playsuit in monochrome scarf print with knot tie neck detail," the item’s description read. "Team with sliders for perfect summer-cool."
The outfit was called out for its cultural appropriation of the black and white scarf, which Yasser Arafat began wearing back in the 1960s and, ultimately, became a symbol of Palestinian resistance and armed struggle, Mashable reports.
It's not 'only' a piece of keffiyeh. Learn on how many tears and blood shed by this symbol of resistance. Not cool, Topshop. https://t.co/n1eknDNjgU— A.R. Widyaningrum (@AuliaReski_) April 5, 2017
Overtime, the keffiyeh was adopted by the fashion world and has been sold, in various styles and colors, by several stores and boutiques — but not in the form of a “playsuit.”
.@Topshop I personally see no problem with people from all walks of life and cultures wearing the keffiyeh as a scarf - but a "playsuit" is just wrong— Elias Jahshan (@Elias_Jahshan) April 5, 2017
After receiving merciless backlash for their insensitivity, Topshop removed the item from the site.
Alas, Topshop is not the first — and certainly won’t be the last — international retailer to appropriate and exploit cultures and customs in the name of fashion.
Remember earlier this year when white model Karlie Kloss was dragged relentlessly for posing in Vogue magazine as a Japanese geisha for its “diversity” issue?
The important thing is that consumers continue to remind these companies when they overstep their boundaries and hold them accountable for these offensive blunders.