The Stream

When traditions become trends

Where is the line between inspiration and appropriation?

An Urban Outfitters dress compared with a traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean dress. Photo by makeda_loveee [Instagram]

In the fashion world, one culture’s traditional clothing often inspires another culture’s latest trend. But where do you draw the line between fashion appreciation and appropriation? When is borrowing designs disrespectful, and to what extent can it damage cultural traditions?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Korto Momolu @kortomomolu
Fashion designer

Johanna Blakley @mojojohanna
Norman Lear Center, University of Southern California

Lolla Mohammed Nur @lomonur

Aster Thomas @AsterAddis
Co-founder, Pradagee

Mac Bishop @theNATIVEX
Founder, NATIVE(X)

Sonny Singh @brooklynsingh
Musician and writer

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.