Marc Jacobs Issues Formal Apology for Dreadlocks During NYFW 2016 Show

Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs issued a second, more sincere apology via Instagram for the use of dreadlocks in his spring 2017 show at NYFW 2016. ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty

A little better this time. After countless commenters called out Marc Jacobs for having his NYFW models wear dreadlocks — a choice many deemed cultural appropriation — the fashion designer offered up a feisty response via Instagram. After a few days to think about it, he’s come back with a more sincere apology.

Captioning a text photo reading, “I have read your comments …” Jacobs, 53, wrote on his personal Instagram page on Sunday, September 18, “… and I thank you for expressing your feelings. I apologize for the lack of sensitivity unintentionally expressed by my brevity. I wholeheartedly believe in freedom of speech and freedom to express oneself though art, clothes, words, hair, music … EVERYTHING. Of course I do “see” color but I DO NOT discriminate. THAT IS A FACT! Please continue to express your feelings freely but do it kindly. Nothing is gained from spreading hate by name calling and bullying.”

This post was a direct response to a comment he left on the official Marc Jacobs page, which called out “all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race of skin color wearing their hair in a particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair” — a statement many were outraged by.

He went on to say, “I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race — I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded … Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it.”

Jacobs sent his spring 2017 show models, including Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss, down the runway wearing pastel-hued dreads. Jacobs said he was inspired by trans director Lana Wachowski, who starred in his spring 2016 campaign, but that didn’t sit well his critics.

While one commenter asked, “Why didn’t you hire models with real dreads?! That are apart of their culture. Is it that hard Marc Jacobs?! This is hideous and disappointing,” another said, “There are much better points of inspiration for dreads and locs. Like ones that naturally and beautifully grow out of a black woman’s head.”

Nevertheless, Redken Global creative director Guido Palau, who helped craft the hairstyles using Etsy shop owner @DreadsbyJena’s wool dreads, defended the look. “I don’t really think about that. I take inspiration from every culture,” he told The Cut. “Style comes from clashing things. It’s always been there — if you’re creative, if you make food, music, and fashion, whatever, you’re inspired by everything. It’s not homogeneous.”

Palau added, “Different cultures mix all the time. You see it on the street. People don’t dress head-to-toe in just one way.”

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