By Mariam Sarhan
London-based Nigerian fashion designer Mowalola Ogunlesi has apologized following backlash showcasing a miniskirt with the Saudi Arabian flag printed on it in her collection, featuring miniskirts with flags printed on them from countries across the world.
The Saudi flag features the religious text of the Islamic Shahada which translates to “There is no God but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God.”
Many social media users took to X to condemn and express their disapproval of the design and even called to boycott FarFetch.
Major Arab and Muslim fashion brands pushed the clothing retailer FarFetch to stop selling Mowalola items and threatened to boycott the business. In the Middle East, FarFetch has a significant customer base.
Mowalola initially tweeted “A mini skirt being an act of war in 2023 is so dystopian.” Following the outcry of many users calling it “disrespectful” and “offensive.”
She once again took to social media to clear the controversy, stating that her inspiration for SS24 was the use of countries’ flags for her Spring/Summer 2024 collection.
“One of my key inspirations for SS24 was to use the national flags of different countries,” she said in a statement. “After the show, I found that one of these flags, Saudi Arabia — features sacred words, and its use has caused great offense. She added, “I’ll ensure this design is removed from the collection. I deeply regret any hurt or offense my oversight may have caused. Thank you for holding me accountable, and I appreciate your understanding as I learn from this experience.”
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