Fashion is notoriously controversial—in fact, it's astounding just how many things can be wrong, wrong, wrong—and Canadian label Dsquared2's new women's line, recently featured at Milan's fashion week, does not disappoint.
Dsquared2 designers—brothers Dean and Dan Caten—decided to mash up Native American styles with European for their oh-so-offensive collection. Remember how Europeans stormed America and systematically hacked away at the livelihood of the natives? Then continued to make their lives a living hell for generations? Yeah. That.
But because that concept wasn't myopic and denigratory enough, Dsquared2's marketing team decided to up the ante a bit. Check out this enlightening description of their creations: "The enchantment of Canadian Indian tribes. The confident attitude of the British aristocracy."
Um. Like, confident enough to wipe out an entire population?
"In a captivating play on contrasts: an ode to America’s native tribes meets the noble spirit of Old Europe. Magic and mysterious tribal influences meld with royal references in a bold, quite eccentric aesthetic, revealing luxurious materials and high-end, artisanal details . . . Dsquared2’s iconic Twin Peaks bag reveals an ethnic makeover."
"Mysterious tribal influences? Ethnic makeover? Noble spirit of Old Europe?" W-o-w. Why not toss in some utterly random, based-on-no-particular tribe "ancestral" tattooing for good measure? Oh wait . . .
And yet, dear Ravishers. It gets worse. Dsquared2's hashtag for the collection? #Dsquaw.
You'd think one of the Caten brothers' friends, lovers or mothers MIGHT have stepped in with a history book and said, "bro, maybe this isn't worth it." But no. And predictably, people are furious.
"Squaw" is real damn offensive to just about everybody, there's blatant cultural appropriation, and the painful reminder that Europeans took over just about everything.
One tweeter put it best:
— Tanya Kappo (@Nehiyahskwew) March 5, 2015
I think we can all agree that fashion should steer clear of Missing, Murdered, and Indigenous Women. (#MMIW.) No Navajo print on earth is worth capitalizing on that kind of sorrow.