Was Tory Burch’s Ad Cultural Appropriation?

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After the premier of her new ad campaign, Tory Burch is facing criticism for possible cultural appropriation. With designers, such as Marc Jacobs, using white models with dreadlocks, and the lack of diversity in fashion shows, it is easy to see where Burch may have gone wrong.

The video, directed by Giovanna Battaglia Englebert, premiered earlier this week on Elle Malaysia. It was the debut of Burch’s Spring and Summer 2017 collection, which featured model, Poppy Delevingne, and two other models. Although, the video includes a song produced by African American artists, the video fails to include any models of color.

Twitter has reacted in outrage to the video.

I have so many questions. #repost @teatenders__

A post shared by theshelahmarie (@theshelahmarie) on


Burch states that the video was not meant to insult anyone, in fact, it was meant to do the opposite. “The video was intended to celebrate music that we love with our spring collection,” Burch said in a statement. “It was never meant to be insensitive in any way.”

Englebert shared her reasoning behind the song choice for the video in an interview, stating, “I wanted the video to be playful and as chic as possible and to put you in a very good mood.” While the song is a feel good song, it does not take away from the fact that models of color were not included in the video. The continued use of cultural art without the inclusion of that particular culture is the definition of cultural appropriation. While the fashion industry has been making strides to be more diverse and inclusive, circumstances such as this, continue to arise.

Tory Burch has released an apology in regards to the video. “I personally feel very badly if this hurt anyone and I am truly sorry.” Due to the backlash, the video has also been removed from all social platforms. Well, except for Twitter, of course.

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