ICICLE FASHION GROUP: STOP DESECRATING INDIGENOUS CULTURES!
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We condemn the superficial, inappropriate, and for-profit appropriation of the Gunantuna culture - specifically the sacred Tubuan - by the company ICICLE Shanghai Fashion Group; under the leadership and direction of Vice President Isabelle Capron in their 2019 marketing campaign and collection ‘MADE IN EARTH’.
ICICLE Shanghai Fashion Group claim in their marketing to be an “ethical” brand, to have “strong values” on “respect towards all kinds of communities” - but there is absolutely nothing respectful OR ethical about the images, videos, products and installations being circulated as part of this for-profit, exploitative campaign and collection.
These images and videos violate a number of cultural protocols and taboos in the Gunantuna culture, which ICICLE Shanghai Fashion Group has been made fully aware of. These images and videos feature fashion models using Gunantuna culture and its sacred Tubuans as literal props for Shanghai Fashion Group’s apparel and accessories. To add insult to injury, the company is also selling unauthorised apparel and accessories bearing Tubuan iconography and likeness, as well as likeness to other objects that are part of the Gunantuna culture.
And as Mr ToKunai wrote in his letter to ICICLE Paris on January 28: "Your commercialisation of Tubuan in the marketing promotion is a violation of the collective intellectual property rights of the indigenous people of East New Britain. It is abhorrent that you are profiteering from a customary object which is sacred."
We also condemn ICICLE Shanghai Fashion Group for appropriating other indigenous cultures in the past, and failing to respond respectfully to protests over those campaigns and collections too. Most recently, the Hopi Pueblo and Pueblo culture. We stand in solidarity with all indigenous peoples who have been affected.
And we call on Isabelle Capron and ICICLE Shanghai Fashion Group to:
- Immediately recall and destroy all merchandise, store installations and advertising featuring the Tubuan, Tubuan iconography, or bearing a likeness to Tubuan.
- Immediately recall and destroy all merchandise, store installations and advertising featuring any aspect of Gunantuna culture.
- Immediately remove all marketing material associated with this campaign from the internet (ALL websites and social media pages associated with ICICLE Fashion Group) and any other platforms.
- Immediately and permanently stop using aspects of global indigenous cultures as aesthetic objects and props to market ICICLE Shanghai Fashion Group's products with; and engage in more extensive, ethical and diligent consultations when seeking to work with global indigenous peoples in future!
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