JUNYA WATANABE’s menswear show, which took place this weekend, has come in for criticism – with some accusing the Japanese designer of cultural appropriation. The African-inspired show – held at the Museum of Immigration – featured models wearing preppy shirts, chinos, bow-ties and blazers along with traditional African dress including Masai beaded necklaces and batik-printed fabrics.

As well as being accused of appropriation of black culture, the show attracted attention for its lack of model diversity, with one Twitter user asking: “How does one have a runway show, showcasing African textiles and silhouettes without including anyone of African descent?”

However, the decision to use only white models may have been in order to communicate a message about colonialism, some suggested, especially since the collection was created in collaboration with Vlisco. The Dutch company, which has supplied fabric to West and Central Africa since the mid-19th century, is considered instrumental in having shaped the region’s cultural identity, Style.com reports, with British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare using the company’s fabrics in his work to challenge Western colonial history.

Story Cred: Vogue.com
Photo Cred: Indigital