Naughty Naughty H&M: Controversial Accessory Pulled from Canadian Stores

Submitted by on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 | No Comment

A feathered headdress sold in retailer H&M in Canada has been viewed as controversial and offensive to Aboriginals.

This feathered headband, pictured below, has been the cause of controversy surrounding its significance within American Indian culture, and it seen as a sign of disrespect as it is supposed to be worn by the chiefs: the respected elders in the communities.


Kim Wheeler, an Ojibwa-Mohawk from Manitoba, said that the £10 festival headgear disrespected her culture:

“Headdresses are worn by chiefs in some of our communities … It is a symbol of respect and honour and should not be for sale as some sort of cute accessory… People in my community have kind of been fighting that whole ‘hipster headdressing’ for a while now.”

The item was being sold in H&M’s festival range, which sees youngsters dressing outlandishly in outfits they wouldn’t usually wear, as festivals have become a place of fantasy and fun, of relinquishing your normal self and expressing yourself through your style.


Eccentric performer Paloma Faith performing at a festival in a dramatic headdress.

As H&M spokeswoman Emily Scarlett said: “Music festivals these days are really about experimenting with fashion and dressing your personality. And they’re very heavily based on accessories, really accessorising your look.”

What do you think of the controversial fashion accessory?

Hipster brand Urban Outfitters also came under scrutiny in the past for their Navajo clothing range which was deemed to exploit the trademarked term.

As well as this Victoria’s Secret, designer lingerie giant, were condemned for sending a model down the runway wearing an American Indian style headdress during a 2012 show.

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