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Did Rebecca Taylor just pull an Urban Outfitters? The New York-based designer has launched a "Navajo" collection featuring pieces with intricate embroidery, as per a press email we received yesterday. A PR rep wrote:
I wanted to be in touch as Rebecca created a capsule Navajo Collection for Pre-Spring and wanted to see if you were interested in possibly featuring. It looks really cute. Lookbook attached for you here. Rebecca was inspired by Artist Simon Beck's snow art for this collection. Let me know your thoughts when you have a quick second.
Racked immediately replied to inquire about the Navajo connection and ask if this meant Taylor worked with Navajo artisans, but the rep did not respond. For further (and perhaps more confusing) context, British artist Simon Beck creates sprawling snow art, mainly in the French Alps.
Since the email landed in our inbox last night, the term "Navajo" appears to have been scrubbed from Rebecca Taylor's website, save for the product description on this pair of pants, which at the time of publishing read: "This lightweight twill pant is set apart with side embroidery in a Navajo inspired motif." You'll also still find "Navajo" used in product page URLs and via cached Google search results; pieces from the collection on Lyst are still labeled Navajo as well.
Taylor's inexplicable use of the word is unfortunately not without precedent in the fashion world. Urban Outfitters is currently embroiled in a long-running legal battle with the Navajo Nation after the brand used the tribe's name to describe items like flasks and underwear with generic prints; Forever 21 did the same thing. You can read about these cases (and much more) in Racked's latest longform feature.