(photo: B. Yellowtail)
Just this week, the Navajo Nation lost a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters because their trademark isn’t considered “famous” enough to be individual to them. Even though they’re the largest indigenous tribe in the US, they are still being told that American retailers aren’t in the wrong for stealing products which belong to tribes.
This isn’t a one-off either. “Tribal fashion”, whether we like it or not, sells. From music festivals to fashion weeks worldwide, trademarks are stolen from hundreds of tribes and transformed into nothing more than costume under the vague guise of “inspiration”.