Kate Moss’s 14-year-old daughter began her first-ever ad campaign this week, promptly coming under fire for cultural appropriation.
Lila Grace Moss Hack appeared in ads for a British hair brand, The Braid Bar, alongside Stella Jones, whose dad is the Clash musician Mick Jones. Both girls wore their hair in colorful braids.
“This is cultural appropriation,” wrote one Instagram user after The Braid Bar posted its photo Thursday. “If you wanna do black hairstyles- use black models! It ain’t rocket science.”
Another poster wrote: “Black women are tease[d] for their natural features, and the way they style their hair, and when it became trendy, y’all not only decided to white wash it and exclude us but have the audacity to ask ‘who cares?’”
Teen Vogue also slammed the ad campaign, saying the hairstyle was “created and worn exclusively by black women and men for centuries” and decrying the use of two white models was “extremely problematic, considering their cultural significance to the black community.”
Others defended the photo, writing on Instagram that no culture or race has a monopoly on braids.
The Braid Bar apologized for the ad, describing its company as “a welcoming and fun place for people of all races, genders and ethnicities.”
“It has come to our attention that we have not given enough consideration to the cultures that we have drawn from in creating The Braid Bar, particularly black culture,” The Braid Bar’s statement said. “Having been naïve, our eyes are now open to issues that we were not so aware of when we first started.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.