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Isabel Marant is accused of plagiarizing Purépecha textiles

This is the second time the French designer has been accused of plagiarizing Mexican textile designs.

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30, 2020

3 min read

This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.

This story originally appeared on México Desconocido

"Designers take such artistic forms of expression, use them out of context to make a profit and without being aware of the importance they have for the population."

Senators Susana Harp and Casimiro Méndez accused the French designer Isabel Marant of plagiarizing the Purépecha designs by craftsmen from Charapan, Angahuan and Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán. The textiles were replicated to make coats, belts, and other items.

“Cultural appropriation consists in the patrimonial use of a traditional cultural expression by corporations without having authorization or mentioning its origin or providing compensation for its use. In this case, designer Isabel Marant launches a full line of garments that literally copy samples of Purépecha designs by artisans from Charapan, Angahuan and Santa Clara del Cobre from Michoacán. "

Mendez said

According to the senator, designers take such artistic expressions, use them out of context to make a profit, and without realizing the meaning they have to the population. For this reason, the senator denounced the act as cultural appropriation and reiterated his disagreement.

Part of the Isabel Marant collection. Image about unknown Mexico.

Isabel Marant: second plagiarism of Mexican designs

Charapan mayor Josué Emmanuel Balboa Álvare z also opposed Isabel Marant's plagiarism, adding that this type of plagiarism is causing artisans to be "thrown onto the streets" due to a lack of sales. The mayor also called for the cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples and their people to be respected.

“This person (Marant) is damaging our tradition. They kill our craftsmen, they cut up our skin, because these crafts are our identity. "

Balboa Álvarez denounced

Finally, Senator Susana Harp mentioned that this is not the first time Isabel Marant has plagiarized indigenous communities, as the designer mimicked designs for blouses from Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca in 2015.

“In 2015 she decided to duplicate the blouses identically. The type of sleeve, the neck opening and the colors were identical. Now he decided on colors, elements that appear again and again in many of our crafts. It's the second time this designer – that's her name – does cultural appropriation or plagiarism, so she can't say she didn't know (what she was doing), "explained Harp.

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