Ask your uncle if he wants one.
Checkered prints may be one of the hottest SS18 trends, however Zara’s newest take on the pattern has drawn some ire from the internet. The fashion retailer has added a new skirt to their collection and it’s tickled people over in Asia for looking remarkably similar to a traditional fashion staple.
Many quickly drew comparisons between the Zara skirt and a lungi, a skirt worn by men in places such as India, Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan and more to keep cool amidst the boiling heat.
Commonly associated with older males, they’re usually relatively cheap with some going for as low as £3 – however Zara’s hiked their price up to £69.99.
Zara calls the product a ‘check mini skirt’ on their site and describes it as a ‘flowing skirt with draped detail at the hem’. Many people have poked fun at the global retailer for the gaffe and the Twitterverse did its thing, dragging Zara online for the product.
Other users criticised Zara of cultural appropriation, as there was no mention of the lungi (also known as a longyi) in their product description, and some pointed out how the situation could have been easily avoided.
This isn’t the first time that a brand has supposedly drawn sartorial inspiration from common Southeast Asian items. Back in 2016, Balenciaga was criticised for their rainbow striped totes which looked very similar to cheap and popular Thai plastic bags.
Thailand’s Intellectual Property Department said at the time, ‘The rainbow bag has been used in Thailand for a long time. It’s not illegal to carry it to Europe as it’s not a copycat. If one intends to copy, the material, pattern, shape and colour must be the same.’
Zara has yet to address the claims and the product is still up on their site if you’re still interested in grabbing one. Though to be honest, we’ve already found a couple of lungi floating around for a fraction of the price on Amazon.