Vogue apologized after apparent backlash toward a pair of Instagram photos honoring the Council of Fashion Designers of America that feature Kendall Jenner with teased, messy hairstyles. Some loud people online said that Jenner was rocking an afro and claimed that she was participating in a beloved Kardashian/Jenner pastime: cultural appropriation.
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Fifteen years and 150 finalists later, the @CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize has created global stars, local heroes, a must-watch New York Fashion Week, and, most important, a true sense of community among designers of all ages and backgrounds—all with differing aesthetic and commercial aspirations—who communicate, collaborate, and essentially care for one another through the fun and not-so-fun times. Laura Vassar Brock—one of the founders of 2016 #CVFF winner Brock Collection—says, “We spoke to a few friends who had gone through it, and they all said the same thing: that the Fashion Fund is a life-changing experience. And indeed it was!” Tap the link in our bio to learn more. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, November 2018
Except, Jenner wasn’t culturally appropriating anything, because this isn’t a afro:
It’s clearly a throwback to the Gibson girl hairstyle from the turn of the 20th century. But even if you had no idea what that was, jumping to afro is an impressive leap.
And for the record, this isn’t an afro either:View this post on Instagram
15 years ago, the @CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was created to make the American fashion community more caring, more creative, more conscionable. Tap the link in our bio for a look back at the prize that changed American style. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, November 2018
Her hair is just messy. She looks like every dude in a hair metal band. She looks like your Aunt Clara in 1985.
In a statement, Vogue attempted to clear up the controversy that never should have existed in the first place:
“The image is meant to be an update of the romantic Edwardian/Gibson Girl hair which suits the period feel of the Brock Collection, and also the big hair of the ‘60s and the early ‘70s, that puffed-out, teased-out look of those eras. We apologize if it came across differently than intended, and we certainly did not mean to offend anyone by it.”
If you’re going to claim cultural appropriation in 2018, it’s a good idea to make sure that you at least know what you’re talking about.