Recognizing that it had insulted Native Americans, Victoria's Secret has apologized for featuring a headdress in its annual fashion show and pulled the segment from a tape meant for broadcast in December.
Model Karlie Kloss took to the runway wearing the floor-length feathered headdress, which is normally worn by Native Americans as a symbol of bravery, more commonly by tribal chiefs. The Associated Press noted that, additionally, Native American women don't wear war bonnets.
Native American groups criticized the use of the headdress, which for the show was "sexed up" with leopard print underwear and high heels, according to The Independent.
Navajo Nation spokesman Erny Zah said:
"We have gone through the atrocities to survive and ensure our way of life continues. Any mockery, whether it's Halloween, Victoria's Secret — they are spitting on us. They are spitting on our culture, and it's upsetting."
Ruth Hopkins, a blogger on Indian Country, wrote:
"Let’s peel away the layers of this tacky, racist onion. For one, Ms. Kloss has no business wearing a war bonnet at all. Not only is she not Native, she hasn’t earned the honor. Among my people, the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux), war bonnets are exclusively worn by men, and each feather within a war bonnet is symbolic of a brave act of valor accomplished by that man. Not just any Tom, Dick or Harry had the privilege of wearing a war bonnet. Who wears a war bonnet? Tatanka Iyotanka, Sitting Bull. Not a no-account waif paid to prance around on stage in her underwear."
The AP cited comments made on the Victoria's Secret Facebook page as varying from praise for artistic expression to disdain for the ignorance showed toward Native American culture and history.
Victoria's Secret tweeted to its 1.4 million followers:
"We are sorry that the Native American headdress in our fashion show has upset individuals. The outfit will be removed from the broadcast."