Last year, the Romanian region of Bihor was thrust into the media spotlight after Dior‘s pre-fall 2017 collection bore striking resemblance to the county’s traditional dress.
The French fashion house came under fire for the line after locals couldn’t help but notice that one jacket in particular sought inspiration from the community’s Bihor waistcoat.
With an eye-watering price tag of 30,000 euros (approximately £26,500), the luxury label did not offer the region a slice of profit – most probably because Dior never credited its source of inspiration.
In response to the alleged plagiarism, fashion label Blouse Roumaine – which supports local designers – took to Instagram to pen an open letter to Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
The brand wrote: “We’re glad to have inspired you, but saddened that you didn’t mention us in the description of the Dior Pre Fall 2017 collection. Three of the fabulous outfits in this collection originate directly from Romanian culture and spirituality: a vest (cojoc binşenesc) from Bihor (in Northwestern Romania), another type of vest (bundiță) from Bucovina (in Northeastern Romania), as well as a coat from Bihor [sic].”
The label also asked that designers across the region who work hard to preserve their traditional cultural expressions receive compensation.
But Romanian designers weren’t going to let the cultural appropriation go unnoticed, as Romanian fashion magazine, Beau Monde, promptly launched a campaign to support the local industry.
In a bid to help preserve their age-old traditions, the publication founded Bihor Couture which enables fashion followers to invest in locally produced clothing at a fair price.
To quote local craftswoman Dorina Hanza: “Anything from here [the region] could be a fashion sensation.”
Dior has yet to comment on the allegations.
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