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Hip-hop star and producer Pharrell Williams has issued a formal apology to members of Native American community. Reportedly, they were upset over his photoshoot in which he wore a traditional headdress in a cover photo of a U.K. magazine.
The star was featured modelling the item on the cover of Elle UK’s July issue. However, the photo caused a storm of criticism online. It seems the photo offended some of his fans, even though he previously stated he has Native American ancestry.
One offended Twitter user wrote, “Pharrell…why?!#NotHappy with @Ellemagazine for the appropriation of this headdress“, while another added, “Urgh. Why does the fashion industry insist on turning sacred cultural items into fashion props?”.
The criticism urged the star to speak out about the photoshoot and his statement issued to the New York Daily News reads, “I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry.”
This headpiece was a change of looks for Pharrell, who has become widely recognizable for his oversized Vivienne Westwood hats. The bizarre look had its debut at the Grammy Awards in January 2014 and was immediately made into his trademark look.
One Direction’s Harry Styles faced a similar backlash in March 2014, when he posted a photo of himself wearing a similar piece on his Instagram.com blog.