“Burning Man is coming up!” a Topshop executive must have realized with a start, perhaps during an early-morning squash game against himself. “How” [thwack] “can” [thwack] “we” [thwack] “differentiate” [thwack] “ourselves?” [thwack]
Wow, yes. Since other brands, like H&M and Victoria’s Secret, have already taken the fall for headdress-related cultural appropriation, Topshop (along with our old friend ASOS, apparently) can totally corner the market on these babies. Few in 2015 dare to cater to the embarrassing festival-goer’s empty desire to temporarily inhabit the cultural identity of a marginalized group, at least via this particularly charged accessory—which means that Topshop definitely should!
And listen, who wouldn’t want to look like this? Our model friend is absolutely working her Ornate Feather Headdress, which is, by the way, composed of “100% feathers,” and, at a reasonable $45, represents a fun, harmless way to “add a playful touch to hair.” Suede vest not included, but if you’re already rocking a two-foot-tall feather crown on your big dumb head, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t complete the look.
Topshop, like Zara, Urban Outfitters, and H&M, has a history of offending its customers—last summer, the retailer sold a line of “eclectic Chinese mask charms,” or yellow figurines depicting ugly 19th century East Asian stereotypes; the product was eventually removed. These companies cannot appear to help themselves. They continually dip their toes into the sale of culturally appropriated products, squeezing whatever money they can out of tired stereotypes until someone notices.
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Images via screenshot; Topshop.com.