LINGERIE giants Victoria’s Secret has been forced to say sorry for offence caused by one of their models wearing a Native American-style headdress in its catwalk show last week.
White model Karlie Kloss wore the floor-length feathered headdress and buckskin bikini during the Calander Girls section of the show.
Headdresses are seen as symbols of respect by American Indians and worn only by war chiefs and warriors. Each feather in the headdress must be earned through acts of bravery.
Fashion website Fashionista reported how the Victoria’s Secret Facebook fan page was inundated with complaints:
“Being a American Indian woman and mother, I am disgusted at the recent picture of your non-Native model dressed inappropriately with a war bonnet on her head, not to mention all the other culturally wrong messages this image sends to the world,” wrote Charlene Hunt.
The company responded to the complaints by saying it was sorry to have upset anyone:
“We sincerely apologise as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone," the company said via Facebook and Twitter. The apology has received almost 10,00 likes and 900 retweets since it was posted.
However, the apology fell flat with many posters, who wrote back:
“They don't get it —that ‘had no intention’ thing really is glaring. Wakey-wakey — that's the point: you don't have to intend to be racist, racism is unconscious and normalised in a racist society,” Monique Mojica wrote.
The model Kloss herself took to Twitter to apologise for the offence caused, saying she was “deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone.”
The company have said they will not broadcast the headdress segment during the televised show on December 4 in the US.
Model Hilary Rhoda, took to the Victoria's Secret catwalk wearing an unlikely combination of an emerald green bowler hat, giant shamrock wings, a tweed waistcoat, emerald green elbow-length gloves and shimmering green heels, and a green suspender belt.