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Tory Burch ‘acknowledges mistake’ over jumper labelled as Mexican: ‘We celebrate all cultures’

‘We will strive to do better going forward,’ says American fashion designer

Olivia Petter
Friday 26 March 2021 12:25 GMT
(Getty Images for Glamour)
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Tory Burch has apologised after being criticised for selling a sweatshirt that bears a striking resemblance to a garment traditionally worn by Portuguese fisherman.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada pointed out the similarities in a post on Instagram that featured the traditional garment alongside the American designer’s one.

In the caption, Diet Prada described the garment as “a sweater for sale, barely imperceptible from the camisolas poveiras traditionally worn since the early 1800s by Portuguese fisherman from Póvoa de Varzim.”

The caption went on to quote Ricardo Silva, president of the parish union of Póvoa de Varzim, who called out Tory Burch on Facebook, writing: “The incredible story of how an international brand Tory Burch presents our Poveira Jersey as its own. 

“David’s fight against a Goliath that usurps, does not respond and does not recognize one of the main pieces of Portuguese handicrafts.”

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Diet Prada pointed out that Burch’s original design was listed as “Baja-inspired tunic”, which is a reference to Baja California, a state in Mexico.

“[It] features an embroidered motif of crabs and the Portuguese coat of arms,” the caption continues.

“The embroidery looks like traditional Portuguese techniques rather than intarsia knitting, which is undoubtedly easier to mass produce. Even the garter stitched details at the edges are similar.”

Diet Prada notes how these sweaters were often worn for celebrations and voyages of pilgrimage, and that the embroidery is so synonymous with Póvoa de Varzim that it is often used on souvenirs sold there.

Ms Burch’s listing now describes the jumper as “sweater tunic”.

In response to Diet Prada’s claims, Ms Burch has apologised and accepted her “mistake”.

“We absolutely acknowledge this mistake and take full responsibility,” wrote the designer in a comment beneath Diet Prada’s post.

“It was brought o our attention that we mis-attributed this sweater and did not realise its origin.

“We are working with the city of Póvoa de Varzim to rectify this error. We celebrate all cultures and we will strive to do better going forward.”

Diet Prada is an Instagram account that monitors the actions of those within the fashion industry.

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