Designer Thought No One Would Notice This Ripoff. Wrong!

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown February 22nd, 2015 Last Updated on: September 5th, 2018


Wow, folks are getting bold these days. As reported by Beyond Buckskin and Native Appropriations, KTZ Official launched a new collection for New York Fashion Week. The collection was “inspired” by Native Americans, but I think inspiration went a little too far and the designer basically lifted exact designs without knowing the true meaning behind them.

Let's take a look at some of the pieces in the collection and tell us what you think:

KTZ AW15 WOMENSWEAR from KTZ on Vimeo.

As stated by Bethany Yellowtail on her FB page, her Apsaalooke‬ nights dress was launched in winter of 2014. The dress uses a Crow design from her great great grandmother. The dress next to it was from KTZ Official and folks say it looks mighty familiar. A little too familiar.


And here's another dress that Charlene Holy Bear, Lakota Doll Artist pointed out looked like something she had seen before. “I couldn't help but notice the similarities between this dress and another famous fully beaded Sioux yoke from the Skinner catalog,” she stated on her Facebook page.


And you'll recognize something on this dress if you're familiar with Navajo culture.


Is there anything this designer should do to make this right? You can sound off on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KTZofficial


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Designer Thought No One Would Notice This Ripoff. Wrong!

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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What about so called designers who use patterns they buy at a fabric store and then call the design their own? That can’t be right!


Fortunately, most of them are over the top and absolutely hideous. No one will be buying them.


whats more insulting is -non natives don’t care. We do pow wows all over south and frequently in past at a place like “trader’s Village where we used to be there to TEACH about our Nations- its insulting to see young non native women with most of thier skin showing in ‘basically bikini style clothing ( barely covering anything ) running around with fake headdresses made in Chinaand smoking from pipes . They approach me and start trying to be my friend commenting on my beadwork , tell me about their “indian princes” grandmother-etc…simply because I am in my regalia… to grab things, touch my buckskin dresses! I’m wearing! That’s just insulting and real ignorance! Luckily this doesn’t happen too often because we quit going to those places because people are just SO RUDE and take the dancers benches , throw trash in the areana don’t respect anything. We can;t teach those old dogs new tricks but we can speak out. Be well.


Wonderful, fantastic clothes!

It seems that this style empire of Genghis Khan.

If such a state will be preserved to our times.

Historical motifs in the style of clothing, reminiscent of the flowering of ancient Tibet.


Designers have been stealing designs from everyone and everywhere forever, and they don’t discriminate – they just steal from Native American designs too. Not saying it’s right, it’s just the European way I guess. There should be a way to keep them from profiting from someone else’s design, though. You could consider it a compliment that they find Native American designs so beautiful, though their versions leave something to be desired – and I agree, Native American models would definitely be better.

Harley Medicine Horse

You would think and know that these big designers would have enough creativity to come up with their own designs.Perhaps we need to get copyrights and patents for designs.Not saying that will stop them but maybe slow them down a bit.Plane and simple you don’t copy someone else’s work period.They don’t even have the backbone to utilize Native American models.So much prettier than what their using.


I agree whole heartedly. If they had used Native American models and consulted with native fashion designers or even artists I believe they would have done a much better job but arrogance pride and greed rule the day and it makes little difference what we think. But what do I know I am just a blonde haired blue eyed man from oregon with more native blood than most but all from different tribes. Mutts like me do not fit in anywhere and no one really cares what I have to say.

aurelia phillips

Never say no one cares about what you have to say – your remarks were excellent and spot on!! I care – and am Chickasaw…..spent a summer traveling Oklahoma to see pow wow after pow wow – with an anthropology professor who was more Indian blood than me……but albino. So – never judge a book by….The best discovery I ever made about my Indian heritage is how accepting my tribe is – of everyone.


These people really are weirdos…. freaks in my book. No matter who’s look they steal… they can’t cover up their weirdness.

catherine mc Carty

The Fashion industry has been stealing Native American designs for centuries and bringing profits their way, to me it is the same as copying some else’s book. There is a law against stealing some one’s invention, writings and fashion, etc.. The fashion industry needs to stop there so-called Native designs and labels they call their own, and be held accountable, so misleading and insulting to navtive culture.

Nanyamka Alicea

I’ve seen this all too often and calling it their own design, making a serious profit.Something needs to be done about it!!


Yes… I think the tribe should issue a lawsuit. Period… and in the lawsuit explain the meanings of the art they stole.

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