1. This is a headdress accessory that’s being sold in H&M stores in Canada.
2. It’s issued as part of the brand’s “H&M Loves Music” collection, featuring clothes and accessories designed to be worn at music festivals.
3. Apparently, the headdress is also being sold for £7.99 in the U.K.
In the further adventures of cultural appropriation in the UK: you too can own an H&M ‘headdress’ for a37.99!
4. Naturally, some people are a little upset. Kim Wheeler, an Ojibwa-Mohawk woman from Winnipeg, wrote to the company complaining that the headdress was offensive.
“[The headdressess] are a sign of honour and respect and leadership, they’re not a cute accessory to be worn in a nightclub while people are dancing to music,” Wheeler, who saw the headdresses for sale when shopping with her daughter in Vancouver, told CTV. “My first instinct was to buy all of them and throw them in the garbage.”
5. An H&M spokesperson said that the headdresses have subsequently been removed from all of H&M’s Canadian locations.
“Of course we never want to offend anybody or come off as insensitive,” Emily Scarlett, a company spokesperson, said. “We’re always about being there for our customers.”
6. This isn’t the first time a retailer has landed in hot water by presenting a Native American-style headdress as a fashion accessory.
In 2012, model Karlie Kloss walked in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show wearing a full-length headdress along with a fringed bikini and high-heeled moccasins. Both Kloss and Victoria’s Secret later apologized and removed the look from TV footage.