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Mexico continues copyright accusations against fashion brands

By Dumont - 08/06/2021
Mexico continues copyright accusations against fashion brands

The Ministry of Culture of Mexico has sent letters to companies Anthropologie, Patowl and Zara acussing them of cultural appropriation for using patterns and other elements of Mexican indigenous textiles in collections and products without permission.

The letters specifically refer to indigenous peoples of the southern state of Oaxaca and ask the three fashion brands to publicly clarify on what basis they privatise collective property and how they will compensate the communities affected.

The letters, signed by Minister of Culture Alejandra Fausto, accuse Spanish firm Zara of producing a blue midi dress with a belt which includes elements from the Mixtec culture; United States Anthropologie's of selling its Marka embroidered shorts with characteristic elements of the identity of the Mixe people; and US Patowl of commercializaing T-shirts which contain "faithful copies" of traditional garments of the Zapotec people.

In a press release, the ministry said it had sent the letters to the brands in “defense of the cultural heritage of indigenous communities to avoid plagiarism of their identity elements by national companies and transnationals” and said “benefits” should be “rewarded to the creative communities” that created the designs.

In a statement to Reuters, Zara’s parent company Inditex said: “The design in question was in no way intentionally borrowed from or influenced by the artistry of the Mixtec people of Mexico.”

In 2019 Fausto wrote a letter to American fashion brand Carolina Herrera, claiming that in its Resort 2020 collection the brand used without authorization techniques and patterns specific to the Tenango de Doria community in Hidalgo state. Nearly a month later, Fausto sent another letter, this time to French luxury house Louis Vuitton over its supposedly unauthorized use of indigenous Mexican patterns in one of the models of Dolls by Raw Edges

By Dumont - 08/06/2021
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