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Appropriate? Or Appropriation? Native American Fashion and Identity – Fashion Show and Panel

With Adrienne Keene, Jessica Metcalfe, Susan Scafidi, and Shayne Watson
November 19th, 2014
7:00 PM


What makes some uses and representations of Native American cultural symbols appropriate, and others inappropriate? How should consumers evaluate the appropriateness of a garment or accessory they’re considering purchasing? What factors should non-Native American designers consider before incorporating Native American symbols and materials in their designs? How do intellectual and cultural property law affect the marketing of cultural symbols?

These issues – and more – were explored during an evening discussion in November 2014. Beautiful fashions designed by Native American designers were also on display.

Media coverage:

“Our Ancestors Were Stylish” in by  Miranda Goodwin-Raab in The Standard, November 27, 2014.

Runway Ripoffs: How Native American Fashion is Misused, Misinterpreted by Ezgi Ustundag, in Duke Today, November 20, 2014

Reflection on “Appropriate or Appropriation: Native American fashion show by Stephanie Wu, in The Duke Chronicle, November 20, 2014, pp 8 & 10

Adrienne Keene

Brown University

Adrienne Keene, Ed.D. (Cherokee) Post-doctoral Fellow at Brown University (focusing on Native American access to higher education), author of the blog “...

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Jessica Metcalfe

Jessica Metcalfe, Ph.D. (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), author of Beyond Buckskin blog and owner of its accompanying ...

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Susan Scafidi

Fordham Law

Susan Scafidi, Professor at Fordham Law and Founder of the Fashion Law Institute, Duke alumna, and author of ...

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Shayne Watson


Shayne Watson (Navajo), designer at Shayne Watson Designs, was born and raised in Chinle, Arizona. The 27 year-old has been sewing since the age ...

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