Karlie Kloss and Victoria's Secret Under Fire for "Indian" Runway Lingerie Look [UPDATE]

Categories: Blowback

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Karlie Kloss get kontroversial.
Update #2: Karlie Kloss responds via her Twitter account.

Update: Victoria's Secret has responded via social media.

An outfit worn by Webster Groves-native Karlie Kloss in the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on Wednesday has the company under fire.

Kloss strutted down the runway in a Native American-themed ensemble, featuring a feather headdress with tails down to the floor.

She looked super hot in it and to some people, also super racist.

The show, which has evolved from a legit fashion show into an overblown slutty Halloween party, is set to air on CBS in December, but pictures of the runway looks are already online. Kloss appears in a huge feather headdress, a cheetah print bikini (those are native to North America, right?), some buckskin fringe-y stuff, and a shitload of turquoise jewelry:

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Instagram user styledotcommarina

There are some way less blurry, way more copyrighted photos here.

Kloss didn't seem to anticipate that her costume was controversial beforehand.

"I'm so excited, I'm very, very lucky, I have three insane outfits," she gushed to CBS News before the show.

She may not be feeling quite so fortunate now. Angry comments have started popping up on the Victoria's Secret Facebook page and lots of blogs are questioning the appropriateness of the look.

"We are a culture, not a costume. Way to go Victoria's Secret for misappropriating all Native American Indian women," one commenter wrote. "Not only are we offended and insulted, you are sexualizing Native American women and using sacred items from our culture and our traditions."

"What is it with you people (i.e. the air heads that think it is okay to play dress up as an "Indian,")? Since when did "red-face" become the new "black-face? We are not a fashion trend," writes another.

This is coming on the heels of a similar controversy involving Gwen Stefani, who wore some Native-American-ish garb in a new No Doubt video that the band has since retracted. The video had cowboys battling Indians, and tomahawks, and just a whole bunch of other really stupid stuff that they should've thought twice about.

"We sincerely apologize to the Native American community," the band said in a statement.

What do you think -- is Karlie's outfit racist or A-OK?

(There is a third option: Stupid. Like this second look of hers. We didn't realize being stuck to a dinner plate was supposed to be sexy.)

Update: Victoria's Secret issued this apology late Saturday afternoon on their Facebook page. Something similar was Tweeted as well:

We are sorry that the Native American headdress replica used in our recent fashion show has upset individuals.

We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone.

Out of respect, we will not be including the outfit in any broadcast, marketing materials nor in any other way.

Update #2: Kloss herself had this to say.

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I think we should let them & use the opportunity to teach our young how stupid they really are at their core. They'll serve a purpose that way like donated skeletons & such, much more useful than their empty apologies.


So no geisha costumes, how about a traditional Russian girl with the whole embroidered thing? I don't understand this at all


stupid ass people, i guess they better  call Disney and have their god damn dolls removed from It's a Small World too while their at it.. let's all FORGET indians even exist..


Native American chicks just mad cuz they aint as fly as that white girl


the germans might not be offended, but that is probably because they never suffered the horrors of genocide. just sayin'

JamesMadison topcommenter

Much ado about nothing. We are a nation that is becoming too easily offended. If that model wants to wear a low cut blouse and lederhosen, she can serve beer all night long to a bunch of old Germans without one getting upset.

JamesMadison topcommenter

 @tarakai , German Jews might tell you a different story. But genocide or not, wearing traditional clothing of another culture is not racism in of itself.


 @base212assm Appropriation of Native American regalia is not the same as decorative ethnic costumes.

Native American women are sexually abused at four the rate of other women in America. One in three will be raped during her lifetime. Please educate yourself about the history of colonization in America. American Indians are not a costume or a fad. This use of the warbonnet is blatant racism.

JamesMadison topcommenter

 @marieMitchell , first of all, we should all immediately disconnect the idea that rape and sexually abuse has anything to do with how a woman looks. Did you not follow along this summer at the Slut Walk down in The Grove? Secondly, were Presidents Carter (http://www.thighswideshut.org/twsdo/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/cody_carter.jpg) and Coolidge (http://media.reporternews.com/media/img/photos/2009/11/28/20091128-185232-pic-225863481_t607.jpg) being racists wearing a headdress given to them? What about the disco group "The Village People" for featuring someone wearing an Indian costume? Many American traditions are centered around the Native Americans. We look at that with pride and honor, and of course the shame for so many broken treaties. I'm a proud supporter of Billy Mills' Running Strong for American Indian Youths. How many Thanksgiving Day plays have children dressing as Indians? Are they racists? Are they dishonoring the traditions of the Indians by celebrating a time when two cultures came together in peace? Let's not be so fast to label people racists without knowing their true feelings. A headdress does not make one a racist.


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