• Louis Vitton was accused of cultural appropriation
  • Backlash over unacknowledged Romanian origin
  • Ministry of Culture to the Rescue

Cultural Appropriation 

Before diving in let us look at what is “cultural appropriation”.

Cultural appropriation takes place when members of a minority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical manner.

The fiasco involving Louis Vuitton started after showcased a blouse similar to the Transylvanian blouse which was designed by Romanian women but only cost $5,000 more than the ones worn by Roman women!

The French are jilted over the fact that inspiration is one thing but plagiarising is another and to make matters worse Louis Vitton did not acknowledge its status as a symbol of Romania’s folk culture. 

Transylvanian Blouse

The history of this blouse started centuries ago. The first Romanian blouse prototype is considered to have been created starting in the 6th century B.C. in Cucteni culture. The ancient piece was called “ie” from the Latin word “tunicae linae” which means thin tunic.

The blouse was worn exclusively by peasant women until the mid-19th century when Romanian royalty began wearing traditional clothing. 

Each woman would stitch the story of her life and aspirations, incorporating geometric symbols and floral patterns for protection, fertility, and good health.

It is interesting to note that this comes just two years after it was added to UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.


This is not the first time such a thing has happened to Romanian fashion, not long before US designer Tony Burch’s collection displayed an outfit resembling a Romanian coat and marked it as a garment inspired by Africa. After widespread backlash, the correction was made. 

The Rescue 

Romania’s Minister of Culture says she will ask the Fresh Luxury fashion house to recognize the heritage and cultural value of traditional blouse models with ribbon and that it is an opportunity for international recognition of the inestimable value of Romanian Tradition.

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