Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman, has urged Pharrell Williams and adidas to rename their collaborative Holi-themed collection, the highlight of which are Pharrell’s signature Hu NMDs.
In a post on his website, Zed said he wants the collaboration renamed and an apology issued for what he feels is a “trivilization of traditions-concepts-symbols-beliefs of Hinduism.”
Zed is the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism and is known for being outspoken and effecting change when Hindu motifs are appropriated and disrespected, having previously moved Amazon to take down stockings that featured an image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha from its website.
In a statement in first published in Nevada Today and later shared on his website, Zed urged adidas and Pharrell to rename the Holi shoes and offer a formal apology due to their “highly insensitive” nature. Read an excerpt from his statement below.
Pharrell Williams and adidas should have done some homework before taking Hinduism concepts frivolously and using these to make a fashion statement and sell shoes for mercantile greed, some of which contain leather.
Inappropriate usage of Hinduism concepts or symbols or imagery for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it might be painful to many devotees. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt many followers.
On the same topic, Highsnobiety previously wrote an opinion piece, which asked if Pharrell was getting away with cultural appropriation, where others might be accused of it. What do you think?
In other sneaker news, the OFF–WHITE x Nike Air Force 1 could see a wider release soon.
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- Main & Featured Image: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Coachella