Yesterday, reality star Kim Kardashian unveiled the latest items in her Kardashian Kollecton with a blog post titled “Kardashian Kollection Goes Tribal!”:
“You guys know I love my statement necklaces!! This new faux turquoise tier necklace from our Kardashian Kollection for Sears is the perfect statement piece for spring! We were inspired by a lot of tribal motifs and patterns when designing some of our new items and we’ve created some tribal-chic pieces I think you guys will love. Tribal can be glam! LOL”
She was wise enough not to call that faux turquoise tier necklace “Navajo,” so Sears (which carries the Kardashian Kollection) won’t be hearing from the Navajo Nation’s lawyers, as Urban Outfitters did earlier this week.
Nonetheless, appropriation of Native patterns, jewelry and regalia by the fashion industry is a perennial topic of debate in the Native community. And last year, Kim’s mom Kris Kardashian used the term “Indian giver” on Good Morning America, a lapse in judgement that drew a response from the National Congress of American Indians.
The Kardashian Kollection’s “tribal” clothing and accessories are extremely generic; describing them as “tribal” might even be putting it too strongly. It’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves whether she’s committed a foul here — how do you see it?