Clothing retailer Anthropologie is in some hot water on Twitter after one of its tote bag designs was found to be using the design of a meaningful Palestinian scarf.
Did @Anthropologie really put handles on a keffiyeh??? And then proceeded to call it an “En Shalla Tapestry Tote” for $148?????? This is qwhite the definition of f!ckery when a symbol of Palestinian resistance is demonized on the daily. Capitalistic cultural appropriation af pic.twitter.com/CA95zvxt4F— سارة (@Saressaa) May 22, 2018
The keffiyeh scarf has been around since the 1930's, and represents a sense of Palestinian nationalism according to Complex.
The design is especially charged right now due to the escalated conflicts at the Israel-Palestine border, where dozens of Palestinians were recently killed during a protest prompted by President Trump's decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
The name of the bag, an "En Shalla Tapestry Tote Bag," also appears to be a play on the phrase "Inshallah" which means "God willing" in Arabic.
When the controversy broke, Anthropologie immediately removed the bag from stores and apologized, claiming the product was "sourced from a third party brand." To be fair, that brand's name is En Shallah, a company that "focuses on high end accessories blending North African art with modern fashionable ideas." It seems this may have all been a mistake borne out of ignorance.
This isn’t an Anthropologie design. This is a product they carry from a Moroccan brand called En Shalla created by Maryam Bonar and her husband. Their pieces are handmade by Moroccan artisans, and by women’s groups in Marrakesh. Do your research so you don’t end up crying wolf. https://t.co/fysf4BhxEx— Rowayda (@row_volution) May 22, 2018
Hopefully Anthropologie learns a lesson from the incident—always vet your products before putting them on the shelf!