US fashion brand Ralph Lauren accused of plagiarizing indigenous Mexican designs

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The wife of the Mexican president and head of a Mexican cultural affairs commission has accused US luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren of plagiarizing indigenous designs, calling it an attempt to appropriate the work of the country’s pre-Hispanic cultures.

“Hey Ralph (Lauren): We already realized you really like Mexican designs,” writer and researcher Beatriz Gutierrez said in an Instagram post. “However, by copying these drawings, you are committing plagiarism, which is illegal and immoral.”

In the post, an image of a sweater with a colorful pattern can be seen hanging in a store. Ralph Lauren is also written on the dress tag.

“At least admit it (accusation). And I hope you compensate for the damage done to the communities of origin who do this work with love and not to (to) profit from the millionaires,” she wrote in the viral post.

She attributed the designs used by the brand to the indigenous communities of Contla and Saltillo, saying that the work causes harm to the original communities and hopes that from now on this work will be done with love and not just for more than profit.

Ralph Lauren said he was “surprised” to see the clothes still on sale after placing an order to collect them a few months ago.

“We are deeply sorry this has happened and, as always, we are open to dialogue about how we can do better,” the company said in a statement.

The American fashion retailer has announced that it has committed to creating all new products made from indigenous designs from summer 2023 under the “credit and collaboration” model.

Since coming to power in 2018, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched an aggressive campaign to reclaim the country’s pre-Columbian heritage, including suing auction houses in the United States and Europe and repossessing dozens of Mexican antiques. .

In July, the Mexican government asked Chinese fashion retailer Shein to explain the use of indigenous Mayan elements in one of its products, prompting the retailer to remove it from the retail store’s website.

Mexico has filed similar complaints against French Louis Vuitton, Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera, Spain’s Zara and US retailer Anthopologie.

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