On the heels of his eponymous label's rave-themed runway show, which took place on Thursday at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Marc Jacobs has responded to the flurry of articles calling the brand out for cultural appropriation. The controversial element of the Spring/Summer 2017 runway show: The models wore multi-colored fake dreadlocks in their hair, as inspired by Jacobs' pal, director Lana Wachowski, who appeared in the designer's Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign.
In a statement, the LVMH-owned brand’s creative director said the following: All who cry “cultural appropriation” or whatever nonsense about any race of skin color wearing their hair in a particular style or manner - funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race- I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded…Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it.
According to New York Magazine: The show's stand-out hair styling was created with the help of Etsy seller, Jena Counts from Palatka, Florida, who was approached by famed British hair stylist, Guido Palau. Jacobs sent a picture of Wachowski to Palau, who says he spent spent weeks searching for a seller who could provide the mock-dreads in a variety of different colors. Counts provided the team with 12,500 strands of wool locks for the show with the help of her two daughters.
Counts, who we were in touch with on Friday, said that the experience and subsequent response has been incredible. Demand "has definitely increased" for the hand-dyed Falkland Wool dreads. As for working with Jacobs' team and Palau, she said: "It was all amazing. Everyone was so nice to us. Guido's team is wonderful to be able to translate to us all of the colors Marc was looking for." She told Vogue that she arrived in New York on Sunday and is staying in a Bleecker Street apartment Jacobs rented for her and her daughters. “It’s my first-ever fashion show."
She has since updated her offerings to include dreads just like the ones that appeared in Jacobs' S/S 2017 show. You can shop them here.