11 Times Companies Have Appropriated Latin American Culture

A small community of indigenous Mexican women is considering legal action against French designer Isabel Marant for a top that bears a striking resemblance to a 600-year-old design of the traditional Tlahuitoltepec blouse, the Guardian reported last week.

More: 'The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg Schools Everyone on Cultural Appropriation

But this isn’t the first time designers and fashion companies have controversially taken inspiration from marginalized cultures. Here are 11 brands that have profited off of appropriating Latin American cultura

1. Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

It's no surprise that a brand that has in the past sold duvet covers that feature Hindu deity Lord Ganesha as well as knock-off Bindis would also appropriate Colombian culture. That's exactly what Urban Outfitters did with its Mochila bags. Mochilas, if you don’t know, are uniquely patterned and colorfully woven bags originating from Colombia.

2. VANs


Shoe and skate apparel brand VANs is also guilty of appropriating Latin American culture. This time, it’s Guatemala. Here are their “Guate Weave Authentic” (actual name!) low-tops.



This “Geo-Tribal Embellished Clutch Bag” is one of ASOS’ many “Aztec-inspired” designs, which it promotes with the tagline, “They invented chewing gum and chocolate, but surely the Aztecs' greatest achievement was inspiring these fresh prints." Mhmmm.

4. Anthropologie


This "Aymara Necklace" (again, REAL. NAME.) is apparently "inspired by ceremonial finery of the ancient Incas, with gleaming crystal picks standing in for the teeth of a hunted game."

5. Carolina K

Carolina K

The Bolivian Cholita costume is apparently low-brow no more. Here, designer Carolina K is selling a “Cholita skirt” for a whopping $384.00.

6. Forever 21

Forever 21

Want to bring some 16th century Mesoamerica to your next pool party? You can start with anyone of these two-piece bathing suits under Forever 21’s “Aztec Swim” line.

7. Free People

Free People

No pockets on your Forever 21 bathing suit, no worries! Free People has an Aztec-inspired purse for you to carry all your 2015 gadgets in. And it’ll only cost you $99.95.

8. Juntos


El Zapato de Lona, a canvas lace-up shoe popular among Ecuador's working-class community, is now the shoe of the U.S.' middle class with Juntos.

9. Billabong


Surf company Billabong is also earning some bucks thanks to cultural appropriation. Here, the brand is all about the South American ikat print.

10. Rue 21

Rue 21

Feeling a bit nippy? Head on over to Rue 21 for this “cozy Aztec-inspired print open front cardigan with cascading panels.”

11. Zara


And if you’re still quivering, you can always combine it with an “Aztec print scarf” from Zara. You’ll be speaking Nahuatl in no time!