Stella McCartney Tried It With Her House Gown Ankara Appropriation

Another day, another case of cultural appropriation. This time, fashion designer Stella McCartney is getting heat for using ankara prints in her latest collection. An article from OkayAfrica breaks it down:

The brand infused ankara designs into their new collection to create dresses, jumpsuits and tops, that look a lot like what our favorite aunties wear casually around the house or to run errands. And you can be certain that their clothing is not cheap, just peep the price points on their website. Many of these items could very easily be sewn by your local tailor in, let’s say, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Dakar or Accra for less than a quarter of the cost.

To add insult to injury, they presented these designs on a group of mostly white models.

Stella McCartney Ankara

Stella TRIED it.

Because here’s the thing. Apart from the fact that she’s using ankara print and she ain’t even in her lane with it, she manages to use it in ways that’s not even cute. Stella didn’t even think to appropriate nice stuvs. That’s how you know she’s clueless and out of her range. She coulda snatched nice embroidery patterns but the yeye lady wan make over expensive house gowns and call them high fashion. See life. Just because something is in a busy print doesn’t mean you don’t have to style it well.

This dress and the other styles? They are glorified house gowns. When your mom puts this on, you KNOW the jollof rice she’s about to make is gonna be FIRE. You might even get some egusi too. Someone’s Igbo aunty Stella is mad because she been rocking these during errands day since 1965. But most African moms and aunties would not be caught dead outside the house in any of these clothes. You couldn’t pay them to be seen in public wearing such. Talk about embarrassment.

Someone said “This looks like something my mom wears to go and buy yam.” LMAOOO. What a mess. I posted about this on my Facebook page and LuvvNation let Stella have it.

Jeanelle: This legit is an outfit my mom would wear on a heavy cooking day. You know the jollof, waakye, peanut soup and kenkey are about to be ????!

Yemi: Chiiii, my kids got reminded tonight! Put my jollof dress on and got it in! Proper bottom pot and all.

Sue: AND she made them look all weird and bad, too – like the hipster girl with the denim vest looking like she got the whole ensemble at a thrift store, and the others looking like clothes the models got when they were 100 lbs heavier, before they got a wasting illness.

Yemi: This is that mess you grab when the house girl knocks on the door, you’re not dressed yet, and your wrappa is too far away.

Chinwe: *dead* yes o. Boubou kampala to the rescue tinz.

Amani: Singing in my best Lisa Lisa voice, “‘cuz I’m all SIGHED out over you.” Somebody make it stop.


Luvvie: The list is probably stupid long at this point.

Jenni: Not enough paper in the world to write that shit down on.

Suzanne: Yeah. I think we white folks something like Yom Kippur, a day of atonement, except we’d need two or three millennia.

Sue: You know that phase you go through in your late teens when you shop there and you’re trying to combine stuff so bad it looks good but you get it all wrong because you’re not actually that cool? That’s what this looks like.

Chinwe: Warris dis? Abeg aunty stella park well. Even sura d tailor has graduated from these styles. Come again.

Sarah: Coming to a store near you for $900! You bedda buy it on Zuvaa 

Chinwe: How about we aint even buying at bend down select. My grandma will honestly not wear those outfits. No offense but no bueno.

Claudine: Bend down select? Is that the same as Ben Dung plaza in Jamaica?  ????

Chinwe: Hehehhe Claudine, am not sure but bend down select is like the second hand clothes u buy at the open market, spread out on tarp on d ground lol

Claudine: same thing. We call second hand items “ray-ray”.  ???? ???? ????

Saiton: Loool at bend down select. We call them inama (bend down) boutique in Kenya

Kendra: I’m mad. These appropriators of culture make my ass ache.

Laken: They have BA’s in cheating, MA’s in stealing, and PhD’s in colonization…

Ngwa: Dear Stella M:

Yemmy: Wth is this?! Wear these on the streets of Lagos and bingo the dog will chase you down!

Isabel: That’s what happens they don’t like us but take everything from us. This is ridiculous they won’t give African designers an opportunity to be in the show but want to use our ideas and culture, that’s America for you…

Rebecca: Guatemalan traditional designs too – weaving patterns that are thousands of years old.

Kristina: I actually like when folks get inspired and take a little bit of this n that, then mix it with something else to make something new. Just acknowledge the source of your inspiration and we’ll all happily enjoy. But this chick just straight up stole stuff we’ve all seen on deaconesses at the church street fair for decades. How you gonna raid mawmaw’s guestroom closet and act brand new? She didn’t even raise a hem or add a ruffle or even bedazzle it like Mama Tina would have. NO STELLA. You can’t even Columbus to standard. You are trifling AND common, as my grandma would say.

Osoojee: The worst part is that fashion has a trickle down effect. So we will be seeing this being cheaply mass produced with even cheaper material and sold in H&M, Forever 21, and ultimately in Rainbow and Rave. This is when the culture will be officially appropriated and the credit for the “tribal look” will be credited to Stella and a Kardashian/Jenner.

Dueke: Shebi that is how Ghanamustgo turned into Louisvuitton designer bag.

Ngwa: Where are all those London Naija Aunties who like to make video and post? I’m gonna need Aunty Esabod Roots and Herbs to be useful and make video to set Stella M straight!

Ayaba: This is what you sew for the housemaid so that she isn’t tempting the husband when you’re not home. Ol Ekaette looking self. No offense to my Calabar / Akwa Ibom sisters.

Funmi: Ayaba to the corner, kneel down, hands up and close ur eyes.

Ayaba: Eez like that gown my cousin from the village brought for Easter before Iya Ebun had them sew her a new dress. With the classic, “it’s not me that you will follow to church looking like that”.

Tiffani: She tried it alright. I’m still trying to figure out how a vegan designer sells so many wool pieces as well.

Kay: Stella is a grade A cultural appropriator. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for someone to say something. She literally goes and takes from various cultures around the world and calls it a collection. Meanwhile, you will see better dressed, more fashionable Africans at any African wedding across the globe.

Esther: It would mean so much to me if Dwights would immerse themselves in their own cultures as much as they seek to steal/imitate ours. Is there ANYTHING interesting/inspiring about what your ancestors did/created? …anything AT ALL???…that you could contribute to a cultural EXCHANGE??? Or must you ALWAYS appropriate? I swear to God I am grateful for my rich cultural heritage that is apparently the holy grail of cultures, but it is annoying af to see it consistently and relentlessly translated into such mediocrity. …not to mention, the vibrant colors of our ancestral fabrics only exacerbate the pallid, if not anemic, appearance of the model’s skin. Repulsive.

Yvonne: “I don’t like what you’re doing, but I’m going to watch what you’re doing, I will steal what you’re doing and then I’m gonna MAKE it my Own and then SELL it back to Ya at an Over the Top Price!”

Funke: Off shoulder bubu is now in style? Lol

Busayo: But whyyyy? Don’t answer that. I know why, sigh. These look like the designs you end up with when you try a new tailor and they disappoint you. “Aunty, but this is not what I asked you to sew” “Trust me! This is en vogue!” 

Kale: Those look like my grandma’s house dresses. The ones she’d put on between the comedies and the ten o’clock news.

Michelle: We can’t have nothing.

Phyllis: This just means the fabric just got gentrified. That shit will no longer be affordable, because Debbie and Susie just gotta have it! GTFOH!

Nana: There are no black people modeling these clothes because we know we are not allowed to wear these house clothes outside!!!  #misappropriation

ChiChi: Oh for fucks sake  that looks like the house dress I wear when my period comes. Whenever I bring it out hubby knows it’s time to walk on eggshells and bring me all my treats or else…

Mawusi: I LITERALLY wore a dress like that to clean my house last weekend.

Stella is really vexing me with her olodo tinz. ???? GET YOUR COUSINS.

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  1. October 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Dang luvvie! You just made my evening I made a post on this too and some people were telling me I was overreacting, like are you for real? Stuff like this happens most times and people hardly say a thing, then you see them get shipped back to Nigeria and sold at outrageous prices. So not fair!

    Check out the my post about it below

  2. Shae
    October 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    What is this foolishiosity? What’s worse is the prints do absolutely nothing for the models. Woman doesn’t even know how these prints work. If I was the Asian model I’d be highkey super pissed ’cause it looks like she got the worst one.

  3. notconvincedgranny
    October 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    And the originators receive no credit, scant praise, and no seat the the table. I hope Bingo the dog chases Stella ’til her ankles smoke, and allows her to appropriate his fleas.

  4. Lorna
    October 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    This is funny and a much needed laugh. Seriously, I felt some kinda way because I am sick of the Tofu People bringing their lumpy, white nothingness into our spaces, sucking up all the flavor, and then trying desperately to pass off Flavored Nothingness as if it were something special.

    WHY can’t they do their own thing? Because they are just like Tofu. Think about it. Taking up space, no good for nothing except masking it’s nothing with the flavors of what is around it. On it’s own, it is…Nothing.

    BTW: I have a housecoat in this print that I use for cooking and heavy cleaning. I’m grown but my Mom would lose her mind if I stepped out the house wearing it. I was raised better. Stella “I Ain’t Nothing Without Paul’s Last Name” McCartney clearly was not.

  5. Anita
    October 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    OH yes, I remember feeling distinctly erased by this one:

    Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel essentially doing the same thing, and also celebrating the colonial era when Britain ruled India. Like, this was jaw-dropping in its stupidity: “Karl Lagerfeld has never been to India. “It’s much more inspiring not to go to places than to go,” he said today after a Chanel presentation that spectacularly evoked the sights, smells, and sounds of the last days of the Raj.”

    Where do we even start… sigh.

  6. Jepkemoi
    October 6, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Hey guys, please don’t kill me. I’m legit trying to understand the line of what is and what is not cultural appropriation. I read a few years ago that African wax prints are neither made nor designed by Africans. That Europeans created this stuff and those of discerning taste in West Africa, took this fabric and made it our own. If this is correct, is it still considered appropriation?

  7. Talking Bowl
    October 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Nepotism can’t buy taste.

  8. pam
    October 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    When Vlisco did the collaboration with Victor and Rolf they brought their crazy conceptual over the topness to the prints…. Stella is lost in this…
    this is some of the Victor and Rolf collab

  9. pam
    October 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    more Victor and Rolf collab with Vlisco. I wouldnt wear it but at least it looks like they gave it thought and put in some work

  10. Tiffany
    October 22, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Yea, that looks like the mumu’s would put on along with your head scarf while taking a nap before evening service.