The White Paper- Miliwawa  


A non-dominant culture has a history of hardship; when the superior culture takes credit for its traditions, it results in cultural appropriation.

Fashion between Inspiration and Appropriation 

Background: Cultural appropriation in fashion has received attention in recent years from the media and the news. This paper aims to talk about the situation of cultural appropriation in the fashion field. It also looks into the historical perspective, in which many famous examples are examined to understand that the talk about cultural appropriation in fashion is not new and how it has increasingly developed over time. It also looks into the law perspective, in which different solutions and views are considered.

How I Intend to use it: This article has a good understanding of how fashion has started to use appropriation as a form to say fashion designers have been so-called inspired. I intend to talk about how being inspired and using a form of cultural appropriation are two completely different things and how fashion designers need to be more respectful and considerate of other people’s cultures and forms of art. 

Fashion and Appropriation

Background:  Fashion and Appropriation is a topic that is talked about many times and is very relevant in our society. Both producers and consumers of fashion have long shown a fascination with the difference between exotic fashion and cultural appropriation forms of fashion; in addition to promoting fashion change, these fashion moves have also encouraged various forms of Appropriation, making this topic very ongoing yet intensely a considerable debate. Appropriation can be a complex political and ethical discussion with many layers that require careful and critical thinking. The articles in this issue approach appropriation in fashion from different angles and perspectives.

How I intend to use it:  I intend to use this article to talk about the cultural appropriation that the fashion industry uses to come out with “exotic” fashion. Many Designers encourage different forms of appropriation, don’t consider the debate about cultural appropriation, and like to promote their opinions about the fashion industry and what cultural appropriation is or isn’t, which adds to the discussion and debate about the fashion industry and its consumers. 

Cultural Appropriation and Fashion: A-Line to Clarify the Line 

Background: This essay shows the difference between appreciation and appropriation. At the same time, explaining the history of cultural appropriation. Borrowing cultures has been happening for a long time, but sometimes that inspiration becomes stealing. For example, “an Australian fashion designer Kohon To Zai created a caribou skin parka for the runway… the problem with this was this particular parka was designed in 1920 to protect an Inuit shaman named Ava”(Holloway, 2011). This designer never asked for permission or gave reimbursement for the design. There are many instances where designers steal from subdominant cultures or individuals wear bold clothing without an appreciation of their religious/cultural background. 

How I intend to use it: I will use this paper because it shows how people wear cultural outfits without acknowledging the history behind it. This paper demonstrates many examples of when people have exploited fashion from subdominant cultures. This paper also explains how borrowing cultures can often be seen as inspiration rather than what it actually is, which is cultural appropriation.

Curbing cultural appropriation in the fashion industry with intellectual property

Background: In the discussion of the public debate following countless accusations of cultural appropriation, the fashion industry is due to undergo a vast transformation. The media is vocal about fashion designers learning to be mindful when borrowing from other cultures and offering products that are respectful of their traditions. At the same time, the fashion industry uses the term “cultural appropriation” as a role for intellectual property in curbing this harmful practice.

How I intend to use it: I intend to use this article because it speaks about the truth underlying intellectual property used in supporting cultural appropriation in the fashion industry today. The fashion industry has received many times, backlash, because it fails to respect different cultures and, in many cases, gives credit where it’s due. 

“They Love the Culture, but Not the People”: A Content Analysis of Cultural Appropriation Claims Against Fashion Designers and Brands From 2013 to 2020

Background: This research study explores instances of appropriation by FD&Bs, determines cultural inspiration in appropriated designs, and understands how acts of appropriation conduct institutions that harm communities. This study aims to determine how fashion designers and brands have been accused of cultural theft and how cultures are being used as sources of inspiration, and to also understand how acts of appropriation impact historical communities. Fashion Designers who do not conduct appropriate research of the original cultural context risk potentially continuing structures of dominance, marginalization, and power imbalances in today’s fashion society. 

How I intend to use it: This paper shows many instances where fashion designers and brands exploit cultural fashion and how it affects the roots of its culture. I will use this in my paper to show sources of influence in borrowed designs and be aware of how acts of appropriation uphold structures that affect historically oppressed groups.

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4 Responses to The White Paper- Miliwawa  

  1. davidbdale says:

    We’ve had a Conference about your topic now, Miliwawa, so we know how to cut to the chase about why this topic is important. I hope you’ll keep the spirit of that conversation alive in your mind as you write your essay. It’s important not to get lost in “academic” language when you can speak your mind without being casual or slangy. A lively, direct, very specific set of claims is always superior to cloaking your opinions in what you think sounds “appropriate for a formal essay.” The line may be a fine one, but it’s worth pursuing.

    Here’s some Lecture Material I produced after reading a completely opaque student essay on cultural appropriation. I hope you’ll find it helpful:

    Reducing Jargon and “Academese”

    You will be tempted to “sound academic” when writing papers for college courses. Professors may make you feel it’s essential to your success that you sound like a language-making machine. Nothing could be more harmful to your style. Nothing could do more damage to your coherence.

    “Academic” arguments say things like:

    In light of the discussions that identify the implication of misrepresentation and exploitation of a subordinated culture by a dominant culture, the concept of cultural appropriation as an adverse inference has provided the ground for a contradiction. The countered argument redirects the notion of cultural appropriation with parameters and amplifiers that provide context to the wrongfulness that underlies cultural appropriation and sets the idea that there may be a dependent factor by the subordinate culture that must be met.

    Believe it or not, the subject matter of that paragraph is K-Pop. Yes, the author wants us to know that Korean pop boy bands borrow (let’s say steal) dance moves, lyrics, attitudes of black American hip-hop artists. The argument is that such theft damages the original artists.

    The language of the paragraph may be fine for an audience of other academics already well versed in the details of the topic under discussion. But if you’re not terribly skilled at such language, the result of trying to emulate it is usually disastrous. I suggest:

    Many claim that borrowing or reinterpreting aspects of a weaker culture by a stronger one necessarily harms the weaker culture. But that is true, and the borrowing is wrong, only if the subordinate culture in some way depends on the dominant one. In other words, K-Pop bands can willfully “echo” dance moves and lyric tropes from American hip-hop without necessarily damaging any artist or label.


  2. davidbdale says:

    Except for the parka, Miliwawa, I can’t think of another example from your White Paper to help me understand what you mean by “cultural inspiration in appropriated designs,” or “how acts of appropriation conduct institutions that harm communities.” I don’t see how “research of the original cultural context risk[s] potentially continuing structures of dominance, marginalization, and power imbalances in today’s fashion society.” You might understand what you mean, but the burden will be yours to help your readers VISUALIZE what you mean. This is FASHION you’re writing about. We need details about how CA “it affects the roots of [a] culture” and how “acts of appropriation uphold structures that affect historically oppressed groups.” Without the details and clear evidence of harm, you won’t earn a lot of converts.


  3. davidbdale says:

    Start taking notes about your sources IN THE WHITE PAPER as you read them and interact with their arguments. For now, it’s all very vague. I need evidence that your thinking is being influenced by the source material.


  4. davidbdale says:

    When you first posted it, this was a preliminary assignment. It was among the better first drafts then, and it’s still above average, but no longer among the best, MiliWawa.

    Use the White Paper as you should, to take Notes and record your impressions of your sources AS YOU READ THEM, the best way to begin converting your research material into language of your own that you can export to your short arguments when it’s time to draft them. You don’t appear to have updated your NEW HYPOTHESIS entries at all since you first posted them.

    Feel free to put this post into Feedback Please if there’s any way I can work from what you’ve posted to help guide you to sources or arguments.

    This post will be regraded from time to time, or on your specific request.


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