FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Victoria’s Secret has apologized for putting a Native American-style headdress on a model for its annual fashion show, after the outfit was criticized as a display of ignorance toward tribal culture and history.
Victoria’s Secret model Karlie Kloss walked onto the runway last week wearing the floor-length feathered headdress, leopard-print underwear and high heels. She also was adorned with fringe and turquoise jewelry during a segment meant to represent the 12 months of the year — fireworks in July, rain gear for April and a headdress for November.
Headdresses historically are a symbol of respect, worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors. For many Plains tribes, for example, each feather placed on a headdress has significance and had to be earned through an act of compassion or bravery.
Thousands of people have commented about the outfit on the company’s Facebook page. Some praised Kloss’ attire as artistic and urged those offended by it to “get over it.” Some expressed appreciation to Victoria’s Secret for halting its marketing approach for the clothing, and others reached back in history to explain their feelings.
The company responded to the complaints over the weekend by saying it was sorry to have upset anyone and that it wouldn’t include the outfit in the show’s television broadcast next month, or in any marketing materials.
“We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone,” the company said.