The error was unintentional: Australian brand Zimmermann issues apology after being accused of plagiarism and cultural appropriation


As they say, fashion is personal and so is its interpretation. Recently, Australian womenswear brand Zimmerman, known for its feminine and floral frocks, came under fire for cultural appropriation. Last week, the fashion label announced the release of its resort swim ‘21 collection. Amongst all other exotic pieces, a printed tunic dress caught netizen’s attention and for all the wrong reasons.

The outfit in question bore a quetzal bird motif, panels and floral combinations that bore resemblance to a traditional Mexican dress. Many users accused Zimmerman of culturally appropriating a traditional Mexican number bearing similar embroideries and textiles used by the local artisans of Huautla de Jiménez in Oaxaca for hundreds of years.

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Soon after the backlash, Zimmerman took down the dress from its website and issued an apology on its social media handle. “Zimmermann acknowledges that the panelled tunic dress from our current Swim collection was inspired by what we now understand to be a traditional garment from the Oaxaca region in Mexico. We apologize for the usage without appropriate credit to the cultural owners of this form of dress and for the offense this has caused. Although the error was unintentional when it was brought to our attention today the item was immediately withdrawn from all Zimmermann stores and our website. We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again in future."


A post shared by ZIMMERMANN (@zimmermann)

The fashion label further stated that it has ‘reached out to and met with the Instituto Oaxaqueno de las Artesanias, the government body that represents the artisans of the Oaxaca region, offering a formal apology.’ “We are currently working with them towards a suitable solution.”

(Source- Instagram, Twitter)