- But social media users said it was ‘cultural appropriation’ and even ‘racist’
- Queried why black model wasn’t used for African Savannah-inspired range
- Spanish Retailer said Kendall was face that ‘best defines’ the trend
Critics have taken to social media to question why a white model was chosen to represent a collection said to be inspired by the African Savannah, which will include a tribal print dress.
The reality TV star-turned-supermodel is modelling the first of four trends to be showcased in advertising campaigns for Spring/Summer 2016, and the Spanish retailer said each would be represented by ‘the face that best defines it’.
Model Kendall Jenner has been announced as the face of Mango’s new Tribal Spirit collection – a range inspired by the African Savannah – and it’s caused a storm on social media with followers accusing the brand of ‘cultural appropriation’ and questioning why they chose to use a white model
But on social media many couldn’t have disagreed more, and Ldndxv was one of many who took to Twitter to share her comments with the retailer.
‘Seriously Mango,’ she wrote. ‘You should know better. Leave cultural appropriation in 2015.’
Pablo Godoy Estel agreed, saying the company’s ‘cultural appropriation’ was a shame. Sharpay Evans added sarcastically: ‘Mango’s new campaign Tribal Spirit is inspired by the African Savannah and Kendall Jenner, a white girl, is the model?’
Sharpay Evans questioned how it was possible to launch an African-inspired collection and not include black models in the campaign
Announcing the launch of the collection the retailer said it had ‘counted on the famous American model Kendall Jenner to model a collection of uncontained beauty and cultural fusion, typical of the wildest savannah.’
Mango described the Tribal Spirit range, which will be available in February, as an ‘ethnic-inspired trend’ with ‘an abundance of accessories to produce outfits of a tribal and free-spirited influence’.
But many clearly did not agree that Kendall was the right choice to front the collection.
‘Like how you’re going to have an African-inspired collection but not put black girls in it,’ Sharpay Evans wrote on Twitter.
‘Wow. I bet the WOC in modelling are thrilled that Kendall Jenner will star in Mango’s Tribal Spirit,’ she said.
Alexander II went even further, claiming the campaign was ‘racist’.
‘So Mango cast Kendall Jenner in an African themed collection called Tribal Spirit. Good to see fashion houses are still racist in 2016,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Jackie Thomas answered his comment, saying: ‘It’s all about who will get them the most money, not a level of authenticity.’
Alexander II accused the campaign of being ‘racist’, while Jackie Thomas said she believed the retailer’s main interest was in making money, not being authentic
‘Still wrong however you slice it,’ he replied. ‘There’s tons of marketable models they could have used that suited the theme. Tisci has been using black models at Givenchy and it hasn’t impacted their sales. No excuse for Mango.’
Davyn Matte was more measured in her reaction, and said people who were directing criticism at Kendall were wrong.
‘I can understand why people would be upset with Mango,’ she said. ‘But to blame Kendall is ridiculous.’
Marta summed up her feelings by posting a comment followed by a skull emoji.
‘Mango is about to launch a collection called “Tribal Spirit” using the white model Kendall Jenner as only face,’ she said.
Twitter user lndvx accused the retailer of ‘cultural appropriation’ and said Mango should know better, while Marta summed up her feelings on using a white model for the campaign with a skull emoji
Meanwhile, a video of Kendall posted to Mango’s Instagram page also attracted a number of negative comments.
It was described as ‘horrible’ by 2870kika, ‘disrespectful’ byand ‘a joke’ by a_ariell. Meanwhile tha_original_natural described the campaign as ‘cultural appropriation at its finest’.
‘Not the right model for this commercial,’ faarfantastic wrote, while leslie_gmdl was equally unimpressed.
‘White person for Tribal Spirit – it’s just not credible and stupid,’ she wrote.
A video posted to Mango’s Instagram page attracted a number of negative comments, with users calling it ‘offensive’ and ‘disrespectful’. Marymaryfaith was particularly unhappy and said they video made her feel ‘sick’ as someone who is from an African tribe
Memaidashlynn agreed, saying: ‘You had plenty of beautiful models to represent this collection. Wrong model Mango. Listen to your customers and make better choices.’
Lovelymaiden111 wrote: ‘Wait, so is every culture white or what now Mango?’
Marymaryfaith, wrote a strongly worded post to say she was offended by the campaign.
‘As an African from an African tribe I say this is offensive,’ she explained. ‘This actually made me sick. Why do people actually argue and tell us it is not offensive when it’s our culture and we know it better than anyone?’
Mermaidashylnne claimed the retailer could have chosen a number of other models to represent the new collection, while tha_original_natural also made accusations of cultural appropriation
Before the row broke out Kendall declared herself to be ‘delighted’ at following in the footsteps of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne in representing the brand.
‘I am delighted to have been chosen to present the Tribal Spirit part of the collection,’ she said in a statement. ‘I love wearing the designs, fabrics and shapes – they really speak of the allure of nature which I know this collection was inspired by.
‘The shots we created on set reflect the natural undertones of the collection while showing really beautiful, striking pieces.’
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