Urban Outfitters' 'Vulgar' Navajo Collection Attacked

'Navajo panties' disrespect Native American culture, complains consumer
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2011 2:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Urban Outfitters might have thought it was getting all back to the land with its "Navajo" collection of kitschy clothing and accessories. But a Native American woman is angry about the campaign, which she says disrespects her heritage. Sasha Houston Brown, 24, of Minneapolis, has fired off a letter to the CEO calling the "inauthentic" offerings "cheap, vulgar, and culturally offensive." Some of the products the trendy retailer sells include the "Navajo Hipster Panty" and the "Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask," notes ABC News. The chachkas "make a mockery of our identity and unique cultures," Brown writes.

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Urban Outfitters hasn't responded to Brown. But a spokesman told ABC that the company is sticking to its guns. "The Native American-inspired trend and specifically the term 'Navajo' have been cycling thru fashion, fine art, and design for the last few years," he said. "We currently have no plans to modify or discontinue any of these products." Brown claims the products are not only offensive, but may be illegal under the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act. "It's illegal to sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian tribe," she said. (Read more Navajo stories.)

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