Sunday, June 16, 2024

Artisanal designer accuses Chinese fashion retailer of plagiarism

YucaChulas, a Mexican textile company in Mérida, Yucatán, has accused the clothing manufacturer SHEIN Mexico of copying its clothing designs.

According to YucaChulas, a SHEIN product is a design copied from a piece made by them in 2017 for México en Colores, a blog that features Mexican brands with a focus on handmade textiles and embroidery. YucaChulas insists that the only thing that SHEIN changed in their version of the blouse was the colors around the edges of the neck and arm holes, and that the rest of the design and coloring of the shirts is identical to their original.

SHEIN, a Chinese company with affiliates in 220 countries around the world, is known for its fast fashion ethos and cheap final products.

Mexico’s Culture Ministry joined the fray on Twitter, saying it was “strongly against the inappropriate cultural appropriation … by making blouses of short huipiles that are also made in various Maya communities in Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo.

The ministry said it would demand an explanation for commercialization of a design attributed to the communities of Yucatán. The fight is one of many that have surfaced in recent years that accuse large, international brands of cultural appropriation — or the use of designs or products whose ownership has been documented as belonging to indigenous communities in Mexico.

International brands like Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera, the French designer Isabel Marant, and most recently the clothing and home interiors store Zara have all been accused of cultural appropriation in fashion, in each case with the Mexican government stepping in to defend the intellectual property rights of artisans.

There have also been several campaigns launched to try to help shoppers determine what are real Mexican artisanal handcrafts and clothing and what are “fake” or “pirated,” i.e. mass produced or from other countries altogether.

With reports from Milenio and Merca 20

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
Two damaged SUVs after a car accident.

President-elect Sheinbaum unharmed after a deadly accident involving her motorcade

The crash killed an elderly woman and injured another person. No injuries were reported among Sheinbaum and her team.
Young fruit seller looks at his cell phone in Mexico City

Over 80% of Mexicans are now internet users, up 9.7 points from 2020

Connectivity has increased steadily in Mexico, particularly among the young, though there is still a digital divide between urban and rural areas.
A lake with low water levels in Toluca

Below-average rainfall worsens drought conditions as Mexico awaits summer rains

The country is in the grip of one of the worst droughts in the last decade, with half the usual amount of rain so far this year.