Dsquared2 slammed online for 'Dsquaw' fashion line
A model is dressed in an outfit from Dsquared2's "Dsquaw" fall-winter fashion line. (Facebook)
Published Tuesday, March 3, 2015 5:43PM EST
A new clothing line by Canadian designers Dan and Dean Caten has been accused of being disrespectful and culturally insensitive to aboriginal culture.
The twin brothers are behind Dsquared2, which recently debuted its latest women’s line “Dsquaw,” at Milan’s Fashion Week. The fall-winter collection features pants, jackets, dresses and coats that combine “tribal decorations” with designs from the Victorian era.
While the outfits have received some praise online, many social media users say the line’s name, which presumably plays on the word ‘squaw,’ is racist and ignorant. ‘Squaw’ is considered a derogatory term for native women.
Critics have also lashed out online at the duo, saying the line misappropriates aboriginal designs. Others called them out for blatantly stealing designs.
On a Facebook page, the label promotes Dsquaw as a “captivating play on contrasts: an ode to America’s native tribes meets the noble spirit of Old Europe.”
DSquared2 said the garments are inspired by the “enchantment of Canadian Indian Tribes.” The dresses feature geometric motifs with an “indigenous flair” that give a twist on “wool maxi ponchos and blanket skirts.”
The description also notes that Dsquared2’s signature “Twin Peaks” handbag gets an “ethnic makeover.”
Facebook users expressed outrage in the comments section:
“UGH Seriously? How disrespectful to native American women to the word squaw and how disrespectful to indigenous people to misappropriate our imagery and artistry,” wrote Johnnie Jae.
“This is so offensive and so racist,” wrote Bridge Rachael. “Do you know what is happening right now, in this present day, to First Nations people in Canada??”
Jacqueline Holder wrote: “Thief!!! Are you so unoriginal and uncreative you have to resort to stealing designs??”
Dsquared2’s public relations firm in Milan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The criticism wasn’t limited to Facebook: