Victoria's Secret Apologizes For Native American Headdress in Fashion Show

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Victoria's Secret has apologized after the use of a Native American-style headdress by a model in its recent fashion show sparked outrage.

Karlie Kloss Headdress

Model Karlie Kloss (above) donned the headdress at the brand's annual fashion show, and was instantly criticized for ignorance toward tribal culture and history.

The company responded over the weekend, saying it was sorry to have upset anyone and wouldn't include the outfit in the show's TV broadcast next month.

"We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone," VS said.

Historically, headdresses are a symbol of respect, worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors. Pretty sure the opposite was conveyed here.

Kloss walked onto the runway last week wearing the floor-length feathered headdress, leopard-print underwear and high heels, plus various accessories.

Kloss herself Tweeted that she was "deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone." That would be plenty of people, but not everyone.

Thousands commented about the outfit on the company's Facebook page. Some praised Kloss' attire as artistic and urged those offended to "get over it."

Several expressed appreciation to Victoria's Secret for halting its marketing of the clothing, while others reached back in history to explain their feelings.

"We have gone through the atrocities to survive and ensure our way of life continues," Navajo Nation spokesman Erny Zah said in an interview Monday.

"Any mockery, whether it's Halloween, Victoria's Secret - they are spitting on us with this. They are spitting on our culture, and it's upsetting."

The Victoria's Secret stir follows a string of similar incidents, most recently No Doubt's cowboys-and-Indians-themed music video, which has been pulled.


1. White people are forever misappropriating every other culture's and ethnicity's apparel, food, customs, etc. etc. It's in their nature as they have always been the ones with "power" and "privilege". I'm not surprised that white company like VS would allow this to happen and not think twice about it.
2. Karlie Kloss ain't got any breasts to be considered a VS model. She ain't even curvy in the right places. Sexy she ain't.


1) The Washington Redskins refuse to change their name even though "redskin" is the equivalent of calling a Native American the "N" word. Imagine if instead of Redskins, we called the team the "Popes", and at halftime someone dressed in the sacred garments and headgear of the Catholic Pope, dancing up & down the field swinging a crucifix up in the air in a circle around his head like a cowboy's lasso, while he was flinging sacred communion wafers out to the crowd as a snack? When Catholics ask this team to stop using their religious leaders as team mascots, would you still say "Why do Catholics see this as an insult?" 2) You can't tell another person how to say "ouch". Haven't we already taken enough from Native Americans - now you want to take away their right as adult human beings to decide when they are offended by what they determine to be a desecration of their sacred religious symbols? Please take a moment to give some serious consideration to these two important points...


I find it pretty racist when someone wears any cultural clothing and ignore the culture. I wonder if it's racist for me to wear a sari without intending to mock Indian culture or demean Indians. If I happen to wear Native clothing, I guess it's just a mess up.


Personally I think that some people are trying to embrace the native culture and every time someone does, they get criticized. I'm native and I'm not offended at all. I'm also not offended that people want to dress native during halloween. I wanted to dress like one myself, but couldn't find one that looked 'real' enough. Maybe the headdress thing was offensive because of what it stands for, but if she was dressed in native attire, it wouldn't be offensive at all.

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