Zara Skirt Looks An Awful Lot Like Something Men Wear In Asia—And Twitter Definitely Noticed

Fashion sits right at the intersection of art and commerce. Clothing is a form of expression for designers and consumers alike, while at the same time bringing in lots of profits for the companies that make those clothes. After all, most just take some relatively cheap fabric, have the garments assembled even cheaper in some remote factory somewhere, and then sell it to well-off Westerners.

Fashion designers also run the risk of cultural appropriation—whether conscious or not—and the backlash that ensues when they try to sell a traditional, inexpensive garment for way, way too much money. That’s what happened to Zara. It’s one of the biggest clothing retailers in the world, and they recently began selling a long, plaid skirt-like garment called a “check mini skirt.” It costs about $90 / £70. However, it’s nothing new—it’s basically a lungi, a very old, very traditional, very popular item of clothing long worn by men in places like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Similar to a sarong, it’s very airy and comfortable to wear in hot climates. They also usually cost, like, a couple of bucks, max.