The concept of cultural appropriation is always difficult to discuss. Unlike racism or sexism, which are often blatant and done with obvious malice, an offence that results from the act of cultural appropriation frequently sparks a debate rather than a straightforward verdict. With the exception of overt inappropriate practices such as wearing a traditional national dress as a costume and doing a heavy foreign accent while doing so, most instances of cultural appropriation are subtle and can feel ambiguous for most.
In the fashion industry, the discourse is louder than ever. Many labels have been called out for and accused of cultural appropriation, but the sentiment is never unanimous. It's always an issue of whether someone is just taking inspiration from another culture or is simply stealing and disrespecting its collective identity. The latest label to be on the hot seat is the house of Carolina Herrera.
Their Resort 2020 collection, made by newly minted Creative Director Wes Gordon, feature several designs carrying motifs that are said to directly stem from the Mexican culture. Admittedly, the brand has said that the collection is indeed a "tribute to the richness of Mexican culture". But the government of Mexico doesn't see it that way and has accused the fashion house of inappropriate usage of indigenous Mexican patterns and designs.