For Fashion's Night Out this year, designer Paul Frank Industries hosted an outstandingly offensive Native American-themed party, featuring cocktails with names like "Neon Teepee" and encouraging guests to pose in "war paint" with tomahawks. Urgh.
After the outcry of the fashion-conscious Native community, specifically bloggers Jessica Metcalfe and Adrienne K, the company has apologized on Facebook, and has now taken additional steps to make amends: company president Elie Dekel had a phone conversation with Adrienne K (and plans to have one with Metcalfe) to inform her that all Native imagery had been pulled from the stores and online, as well as invite her and Metcalfe to speak on a panel about the use of Native designs in retail at next June's International Licensing Merchandisers Association conference.
Finally, the company has announced that they'll be hiring a Native designer to produce a new line whose earnings will go towards a Native American charity. And for the record, Paul Frank himself wrote to Metcalfe and said he had no involvement in the event, and was very sorry that his character Julius the monkey had been used to offend.
You heard it here first. Julius the monkey: Not racist.
'Paul Frank Industries Will Take Major Steps to Reconcile With Native Americans' [Indian Country]