Although the official release is tomorrow, American rapper Pharrell has already been taking some hits for his new sneaker collaborative collection with Adidas, "Hu Holi NMD", which is inspired by the the Indian festival of colour, Holi.
Earlier this month, the coveted artist flew to Mumbai, India to host a launch party of the highly-ancitipated line, along with Bollywood actor, Ranveer Singh, one of Adidas's Indian ambassadors . The Hu Holi campaign, which was released last month, featured Indian models including Radhika Nair who explained the unifying significance of the religious holiday.
However, a Nevada citizen named Rajan Zed has instigated some controversy on his website, stating that the collection is a “trivialization of traditions-concepts-symbols-beliefs of Hinduism” as the pastel powder-dyed shoes consist of words in the Devanagari script of the Hindi language such as rang, which means colour; insaan, which means human; and sansaar, which means world. Netizens on Twitter have also voiced the same concern.
In response to the surfacing negativity, Adidas asserts, “Adidas Originals and Pharrell Williams created Hu as a global platform to inspire positive change. Hu was founded upon the principles of unity, equality, humanity and colour with an intention to explore humanity and celebrate diversity around the world. Together, Adidas Originals and Pharrell Williams use this platform to help tell stories from around the globe.”
What are your thoughts? Is this cultural appreciation or cultural appropriation?
By: Franz Tabora