Dior is facing heavy criticism of cultural appropriation after protestors claimed the luxury
fashion brand copied a classic Chinese skirt design, which dates back to the Ming
Dynasty. According to the ‘New York Post’, many Chinese student protestors stood
outside one of the label’s Paris stores on Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
The skirt in question costs around $3,800 and is made out of pleated wool and mohair.
Part of Dior’s fall collection, the company states it “highlights the idea of community and
sisterhood in looks with a school uniform allure.”
But the skirt has drawn comparisons to an item of historic Chinese clothing known as
the ‘Mamian’ or ‘horse fase skirt’ that was popular in China during the time of the Ming
China’s ‘People Daily’ magazine stated that “the so-called Dior silhouette is very similar
to the Chinese horse-face skirt. When many details are the same, why is it shamelessly
called a ‘new design’ and ‘hallmark Dior silhouette’?”
The only difference, people noticed, is that while Dior’s skirt is calf-length, the original
horse-face skirt is floor-length.
People who disapproved of the new design spilled onto the streets of Paris holding
signs written with messages including “Dior, stop cultural appropriation” and “This is a
traditional Chinese dress.”
According to Global Times, which spoke to several of the protesters, future
demonstrations are currently being planned by overseas Chinese students in London
and New York City.