Oaxacan community reiterates demand for US brand to stop selling shorts

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Authorities in a municipality that is part of the Mixe district in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca have demanded for the second time that an American fashion brand stop selling shorts it claims to be plagiarized from a native design.

“The community of Santa María Tlahuitoltepec once again raises its voice against the Anthropologie enterprise, which for profit appropriates elements of our culture, our identity and our worldview,” said the municipal government in a statement.

“The Santa María Tlahuitoltepec authorities demand that Anthropologie immediately suspend the sale of its Marka embroidered shorts,” he added.

They also called on the company to acknowledge that its shorts were inspired by a design by Santa María Tlahuitoltepec and to issue “a public apology to our community”.

The design of the shorts incorporates patterns “unmistakably” copied from the Xaam nïxuy blouse, the government said, adding that the garment was plagiarized five times between 2009 and 2019 “by fashion brands in Mexico and abroad.”

“Across Mexico, 39 cases of plagiarism were recorded between 2012 and 2019 by 23 fashion brands such as Zara and Carolina Herrera, which appropriated creations from the indigenous communities of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Hidalgo,” the statement said. .

The Federal Ministry of Culture announced at the end of May that it had sent letters to Anthropologie as well as to Zara and Patowl in which it exposed its opposition to “abusive cultural appropriation” and called on each company to provide a public explanation detailing “what base it could privatize collective property, using cultural elements whose origin is identified in several communities of Oaxaca.

Despite repeated requests from Santa María Tlahuitoltepec for Anthropologie to stop selling its Marka shorts, the article remains available on the company’s website. A pair sells for 1,676 pesos, or US $ 84.

With reports from El Universal


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