Urban Outfitters Navajo
October 13, 2011 by staff
Urban Outfitters Navajo, A woman from Minneapolis called the clothing chain for labeling of products with the name of the Indian nation the nation registered trademark.
When Sasha Brown of Houston entered a shop at Urban Outfitters last weekend in Minneapolis, found the perfect way to celebrate Columbus Day on Monday – creating a potential legal problem for the hipster clothing chain in the process.
Horrified by a line of products labeled “Navajo,” wrote Brown, member of the Santee Sioux Nation, an open letter to CEO Glen Senk to the store and accused of making a “mockery” of indigenous culture and identity and ask the line be removed from the shelves.
“I take personal offense to the blatant racism and cultural appropriation of her evil store has this season as ‘fashion’” he wrote, citing “bad taste” products as “Hipster P*nty Navajo, Navajo Print cloth wrapped bottle Necklace Treaty Peace of the pen and looking at Skull Star T-shirt natives touched. ”
The letter was published Monday in the Racialicious site and has since been picked up by Jezebel, Time magazine, ABC News and other high-traffic sites, and online discussions is causing commenting wherever you go.
Ed Looram, director of public relations for Urban Outfitters, told the Star Tribune via e-mail late Wednesday that the company has “no plans to modify or discontinue” any Navajo products.
“The Native American-inspired trend and, specifically, the term ‘Navajo’ have been cycling through fashion, art and design in recent years,” wrote Looram.
Trademark problems in the future?
But the matter can go much further to appease a consumer. As Brown also said in their letter, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 prohibits the sale of products through marketing that falsely suggests they were made by American Indians. In addition, the name “Navajo” is a registered trademark of the tribe.
Brown, 24, works as a consultant for the American Indian Success Program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He arrived at her office, Brown said he spoke Wednesday with Brian Lewis, an attorney with the Navajo Department of Justice in Arizona. Lewis said that Urban Outfitters will not go through the proper legal system to use the term “Navajo” he said.
Looram said Urban Outfitters has not been contacted by the Navajo Nation. But the claims of Native blog, which focuses on “images of indigenous peoples, languages ??and cultures in everyday life,” he wrote in September that the Navajo Nation Attorney General had sent a cease and desist letter from Urban Outfitters .
“When an entity tries to falsely associate their products with the Nation and its products, the nation does not consider this as benign or trivial,” the blog of the letter from the agency.
Brown acknowledged that the law is rarely put into practice, but Brown hopes the attention of your letter is ever increasing public awareness not only of the law, but why label a product as “hipster p*nty Navajo” could be considered culturally offensive.
“It’s a symptom of a larger problem, not so much for this particular brand,” he said. “This is an example of passive racism, subtle and cultural appropriation that is in progress. I’m not against people wearing clothes that have native tribal connotations.
“However, Minneapolis has one of the largest indigenous populations in the country, and no shortage of vendors who sell products that have been made. You can download the Franklin Avenue and collect any authentic clothing and jewelry.”
Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters is stranger to controversy, and more recently under fire for selling a shirt with a sexually suggestive pose with a model of underage women.
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