Thursday, September 21, 2023

Pharrell Stars on Elle Magazine’s July’14 Cover & Apologises Over Headdress Controversy

Singer Pharrell Williams has been a busy boy of late, launching a line of limited edition Stan Smiths (read about it here) and starring on numerous covers (see his for Notion Mag, here) – but it’s his recent shot on Elle Magazine‘s July’14 issue that has him feeling not so, um, ‘happy,’ with fans regarding the headdress he’s seen wearing as disrespectful to Native Americans.

The feathered head piece – a sacred symbol for the culture – is considered to be making a mockery of Native American traditions and users have taken to Elle and Pharrell’s online platforms to share their outrage. Disgruntled users’  comments include;

“Bad move Elle… very disrespectful, he has no business wearing that.”


“Are you kidding me? This is the most disturbing overtly racist, disrespectful cooptation of a cultural object.”

The internet fire over the shot’s styling has lead Pharrell to issue an apology statement, saying;

“I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry.”

While Elle are yet to comment, the limited edition cover does not mark the first time the fashion industry has come under criticism for its use of the headdress, with Chanel being scrutinised last year for its feathered pieces walking the runway at the brand’s Dallas show in December, and several highstreet brands having to issue apologies in recent years for its creation of decorative headdresses designed for festivalwear.

For now though, the internet remains ‘unhappy’ about the styling faux pas while we at SPICE await the release of the full editorial shoot with one squinted eye (since we sense there may’ve been a theme…).

In the meantime, see the offending cover shot below and let us know your thoughts via the comments box or on Twitter via @SPICETVAFRICA;


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