British store Topshop accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ over Palestinian-style playsuit

The playsuit is mimics the typically Palestinian keffiyeh, a checkered scarf. (Photo courtesy: topshop.com)
Updated 05 April 2017

British store Topshop accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ over Palestinian-style playsuit

DUBAI: British retail store Topshop, which has outlets around the world, is being accused of cultural appropriation by Twitter users angry over an outfit in its latest collection.
The retailer has come under fire online for its “Scarf Playsuit” which uses the same print as a Palestinian keffiyeh, a checkered scarf which is imbued with historical and cultural meaning for many Palestinians.
“Get festival-ready with this cute playsuit in monochrome scarf print with knot tie neck detail,” the website description reads. “Team with sliders for perfect summer-cool.”
Many social media users are accusing the brand of appropriating Palestinian culture.

“Probably the worst cultural appropriation yet. @topshop are charging $75 for this “scarf playsuit,” which is a Palestinian keffiyeh print,” one user said.
Another posted: “Topshop is ugly as hell for this. it’s a keffiyeh not a … scarf playsuit. there is so much meaning and spilled blood behind this.”

The brand has been accused of cultural appropriation before, over its line of Native American-inspired outfits.


Imaan Hammam gets candid about her work with She’s the First

Updated 25 November 2020

Imaan Hammam gets candid about her work with She’s the First

DUBAI: Imaan Hammam, who is Dutch and born to a Moroccan mother and Egyptian father, has always been outspoken about the struggles she has faced in her own career as a woman of color. She’s currently an ambassador for the organization She’s the First (STF), a grassroots organization that helps empower young women through education around the world. 

Hammam first teamed up with STF in 2019, when she brought her 996,000 Instagram followers along on a learning trip to visit young girls in The Gambia. “Flashback to dancing in The Gambia with the @starfishintl girls,” she recently recalled of her trip on Instagram.

“The girls and boys were getting ready for the talent show that was taking place that day. I was so excited to see what they were working on, from dancing to poetry to singing. My role for the day was to accompany them and offer any advice that I might have,” she explained of the “life changing trip.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Imaan Hammam (@imaanhammam)

The 24-year-old model recently opened up about her involvement with the non-profit organization and how she hopes to champion young women in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar.

“Being a woman and having this type of career and this job, I just felt like at some point I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to help women like me, or girls like me, to tell them and show them that you’re able to dream big and be able to pursue any kind of dream you have,’ she said of her partnership with She’s the First. 

During the conversation, the model also revealed that her mother, who immigrated to the Netherlands aged 19,  is a huge source of inspiration for her. 

“I just have so much respect for her and for her journey that she had,” she said. “My mom didn't always have it very easy, and I feel like I did. And that's why I think I'm so strong about helping women like my mom, or some girls like me that have always had a dream.”