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Anthropoligie offered for sale athletic shorts using the designs of the Xaam Nixuy blouse made by the community of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec.
Mexico's National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) denounced that the company Anthropologie has plagiarized the textile designs of the Mixe people which lives in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, in the state of Oaxaca.
"The INPI condemns the plagiarism of the textile designs, artistic and cultural expressions of Indigenous peoples because they are part of their intellectual property. Their improper or unauthorized use constitutes a violation of their collective rights," the INPI said.
Through its website, the U.S. clothing company offered for sale athletic shorts using the designs of the Xaam Nixuy blouse made by the community of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec. The shorts come in three colors and sell for US$84.7 each.
In May, the authorities of the Oaxacan community filed a complaint about this case of plagiarism and demanded the immediate suspension of the sale of these shorts.
This is not, however, the first time that Indigenous designs have been plagiarized. In 2015, Isabel Marant was accused of using the same patterns in her “Etoile” line. Brands such as Rhapsody, Zara, Carolina Herrera, and Zimmerman have also used Mexican designs.
Besides being part of the Ayuujk woman’s traditional clothing, the Xaam Nixuy blouse is an intellectual product of the Mixe people. It represents their culture and iconographic cosmovision.
Article 31 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that "it is the right of communities to maintain, control, protect, and develop their cultural heritage," reminded the INPI.