Lug Von Siga Rips Off Maori Moko Designs

Lug Von Siga BoardTurkish designer Gul Agis follows in the footsteps of American fashion designer, Nanette Lepore in appropriating cultural designs and motifs of our Pasifika community.  Agis showcased her Spring/Summer 2014 collection at London Fashion Week titled “Tribal Attitude”.  She attributed the inspiration of the “bold”  and “exotic” prints that were the signature of her collection to her home country of Turkey and it’s rich heritage coupled with the Gezi Park protests that occurred in Istanbul last year.

After huge backlash from our Pasifika community outcrying her foul cultural appropriation of Maori moko designs,  Gul Agis finally responded and clarified that her “Tribal Attitude” signature prints were in fact of the Maori moko.  Aside from her appropriation of Maori design not being properly attributed in the initial onset when she showcased the collection at London Fashion Week, she goes on further to explain that she simply did an internet search found the Maori moko design online and decided to copy it.  Her second act is the most offensive due to the  lack of cultural understanding.  Her decision to “give it a contemporary look” rather than taking the time to truly understand the rich and deep history behind the Maori design and gain insight into its meaning speak to the ignorance that is so prevalent within the fashion industry.  It is no secret that the fashion industry as a whole is rampant with cultural appropriation and attributing it all to the blurred defense of creativity.

What are your thoughts?  With the level of talent and exposure our Pasifika community is receiving in the global foreign media these types of acts will definitely not the be last.





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