Popular retailers Nordstrom, Kirna Zabete, and Forward are being criticised for selling an embroidered cotton peasant-style ‘Anna’ top labelled as ‘Palestinian’, which has been created by Israeli-American designer Nili Lotan.
“Light-blue embroidery pays tribute to Nili Lotan’s Middle East roots on this peasant-style top cut from lightweight woven cotton. Its long sleeves are flared and the neckline is gathered for flow and volume,” reads the description of the top on the designer’s website.
The controversial top costs INR 31,200 and is selling like hotcakes.
Though the designer has not yet commented on the top, it can’t be ignored that the embroidery on the top does resemble the cross-stitch motifs on the traditional Palestinian thobe, which is a classic embroidered ankle-length handmade garment worn by Palestinian women since olden times.
Fashion watchdog Diet Prada took to Instagram and wrote, “During the First Intifada in the late 1980s, the thobe took on new meaning as embroidery became a tool of protest to Israeli occupation, which banned the display of Palestinian colors in public, among other oppressive actions. Women in the West Bank began making ‘Intifada dresses,’ incorporating political imagery and the thobe ultimately became a unifying symbol of resistance and cultural identity.”