The Christian Dior Ankara is ruffling the melanin feathers of Africa! The #DiorCruise 2020 Wax print fabrics didn’t go down well with a lot of folks from the motherland.
Africans around the world have hit back at the disrespect shown in not properly giving credit to the heritage of these outfits. Another case of cultural appropriation at its best. A classic case you say…but you have to look at this with facts.
Here’s one big fact, Ankara is known as an African fabric but is manufactured mainly in Holland by Dutch textile companies. In fact a whopping 90% of the ankara you see everywhere is Dutch.
So how African is the ankara we so embrace as part of our heritage and culture?
The wax print fabrics, called Dutch wax, originated in Indonesia and are called Batik, which is an Indonesian method of the Tie-dye exercises carried out in Nigerian Home Economics classes.
The Dutch noticed Batik in Indonesia around the mid to late 1800s and decided to imitate it. They introduced it to West Africa around the 1880s with Ghana picking it up first before it spread around the region.
Nothing is original these days, so where do we draw the line between inspiration and appropriation? Why are these Dior Ankara dresses so expensive? Maybe if you found some money on the road ?
Christian Dior is a multinational company with 89,000 employees around the world and over 8 million followers on Twitter. They have the financial muscle to produce and sell these wax print fabrics. What is our answer to that?
In Africa, the market for wax print fabrics is fragmented. You can’t point out one single company that produces it. These small players don’t have the ability to scale and sell their wax print at the level of Dior.
So many questions, for more read here.