Fashion house goose-steps over ancient surfing tradition…
The French-owned fashion house Balenciaga has stared down claims of cultural appropriation from surfers after releasing a wearable “jupe towel” for a little under seven-hundred European shekels.
Balenciaga, which was pilloried in 2022 after running an advertising campaign which featured happy kids holding teddy bear handbags dressed in sexy bondage outfits, shockvertising as they say, has appropriated the once-popular custom among surfers of changing out of wetsuits with a towel wrapped around waist.
Available only in beige, the “towel skirt” forms part of Balenciaga’s spring 2024 range. It is made of terry cotton, can be worn by men or women, features a regular fit, a mid-rise waist, an adjustable belt with a buckle inside, is knee-length and has a Balenciaga logo embroidered on the front.
It is made of one hundred percent cotton and to preserve its structural integrity must be dry-cleaned only.
Both items are, “made up of essential pieces with sophisticated finishes and noble materials. The house’s DNA is reflected in bold silhouettes without visible logos, precise cuts and minimalist manufacturing techniques.”
Importantly, Balenciaga is a brand that “strives strive to constantly reduce the environmental footprint of our products. The remaining carbon emissions linked to the entire life cycle of this product have been carefully calculated, and we are committed to investing the corresponding funds in carbon capture projects that protect biodiversity, restore natural ecosystems and thus combat climate change.”
Although surfing’s demographic shift to the vulnerable adult learner, median age fifty, means the poncho has taken the place of the makeshift towel skirt long employed by surfers (“If you want to wear a hoody towel and dress like a baby you may as well wear a diaper to wear with it”), it still remains a prized tradition among some.