• Les Benjamins show during the Paris Men's Fashion Week, in Paris. (EPA)
Turkish fashion label, Les Benjamins, has drawn criticism from fashion commentators for misappropriation after its new collection featured Aboriginal designs and symbols.
By
Amanda Copp

Source:
NITV News
26 Jun 2017 - 2:56 PM  UPDATED 26 Jun 2017 - 3:44 PM

Clothing created by Istanbul-based designer, Bunyamin Aydin, incorporated dot paintings, Australian animals and the numbers '1788' which mark European colonisation in Australia.

The luxury sportswear designs were unveiled at Paris Fashion Week while models sporting tribal-inspired face paint lined the runway.

Fashion and lifestyle commentator, Nick Remsen wrote in Vogue that given cultural sensitivities the style was predictably controversial.

“Aydin always tries to bring an international focal point to his streetwear concepts, and this season he focused on Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Remsen said in Vogue.

“He wanted to combine both Aboriginal and British influences.

“Unfortunately, this area was inevitably going to be dicey, considering the colonialist persecutions by the latter of the former, and the still existent sensitivities toward relations.

“Tribal-inspired face paint, for example, was unnecessary.”

Aydin said in an interview with Pause Magazine that he was inspired by the history of Australia and New Zealand.

“Aboriginals, Islanders, and Maori people are the natives and their cultures, traditions and rituals are rich in culture,” he said.

“You can see minimal details in my collection that are inspired by traditional clothing, face paint, and art from the region fused with British colonial details like royal and floral embroideries.”

This latest controversy comes after luxury fashion label, Chanel, was seen selling a boomerang for almost $2000 in May this year.

COMMENT: Don't invest in Chanel, invest in our culture
Breakfast television defended Chanel's controversial 'boomerang' as simply 'filling a gap in the market', but Madeline Hayman-Reber argues that whether its designer or in a souvenir shop - all fake art does is clog the Indigenous art industry.

The product was criticised for cultural appropriation and sparked calls for better legal protection to be put in place for Indigenous designs.

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