Valentino issues an unconditional apology for appropriating Japanese culture with their latest campaign ft. Mitsuki Kimura


Italian luxury brand Valentino has come under fire for appropriating Japanese culture. The brand’s latest campaign featuring model Mitsuki Kimura a.k.a Koki has garnered a lot of criticism for disrespecting the Japanese culture.

The infamous campaign, which has now been taken down by Valentino, featured Koki standing in heels on a piece of fabric that the Japanese identify as an Obi/Kimono sash. This sash, in Japanese culture, represents longevity and good fortune. Netizens were furious to see Obi placed on the ground for the model to stomp upon. Some called out the Italian label for their cultural tone-deaf attitude while others called this visual ‘blasphemous.’

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 Owing to the online flak, Valentino issued an apology for its offensive campaign and took it down immediately. “The fabric resembles the Japanese traditional obi and Maison Valentino deeply apologises for any offense caused,” said the brand’s spokesperson. This campaign also features Korean actress Son Ye-jin and Chinese actress Guan Xiaotong.


A post shared by Valentino (@maisonvalentino)


A post shared by Valentino (@maisonvalentino)

Given the brand’s aim to ‘nurturing a culture of equality and inclusion on a global scale,’ this paints a different picture altogether. What are your thoughts on this?

(Source- Business of Fashion)