The First Lady Of Mexico Slammed Ralph Laurent For Plagiarism. The Fashion House Reacts

The first lady of Mexico slammed Ralph Lauren for cultural appropriation on social media: "You incur in plagiarism, I hope you compensate", she said.

Beatriz Gutierrez, the wife of the president of Mexico and head of a cultural affairs commission, accused Ralph Laurent of plagiarizing Indigenous designs, which she described as an appropriation of the work of the country’s pre-Hispanic cultures.

The fashion brand has apologized and says it will no longer use Indigenous designs without compensation.

Ralf Laurent Asked To Compensate For The "Plagiarism"

Gutierrez posted a photo on Instagram of a Ralph Lauren jacket and accused the famous fashion house that it has appropriated the designs of the Contla and Saltillo peoples from Mexico.

"Hey, Ralph, we've already noticed that you really like Mexican designs, especially those made by ancestral cultures that preserve the textile tradition. However, by copying these designs you incur in plagiarism," Gutierrez wrote on his Instagram account.

"At least acknowledge it," she added. "And hopefully you will compensate the original communities that do this work with love and not for million-dollar profit."

Gutierrez, who is a historian, accompanied her message with an image of a coat with colorful indigenous motifs hanging in a store and bearing the label "Ralph Lauren". At the time of the post, the coat retailed at certain department stores for $360.

Ralph Lauren Apologizes

Hours after the accusations, the Fashion House issued an apology and said it was "surprised" the product was still on sale after issuing a directive to remove it from stores several months ago.

"We are deeply sorry this happened and, as always, we are open to dialogue about how we can do better," the fashion company said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

Ralph Lauren has pledged that all new products using Indigenous designs going forward after its Summer 2023 collection will be created under a model of "credit and collaboration."

Mexico has previously lodged complaints against major fast fashion brands like Zara, Shein, and Mango.

In 2020, the French designer Isabel Marant apologized for using a design unique to the Purepecha people of northeastern Mexico.

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