Popular fast-fashion clothing chain Forever 21 has once again found itself in hot water for tweeting out a photo that some claim is another case of cultural appropriation. On Thursday, the L.A.-based retailer tweeted “straight outta Compton” with a a photo of a white model wearing three different T-shirts referencing the City of Compton as well as hip-hop/rap artists Ice Cube and N.W.A.
Though the tweet was quickly deleted, it wasn’t long before the image made its way around the Web, eliciting an array of responses. Some were interested in purchasing the clothes:
“(@Kariinaxo) Forever 21 has all these cute WuTang and NWA shirts omg I want them all”
“(@It_Aint__ME) Ooo i want that compton shirt”
However, such comments were greatly outnumbered by those expressing disappointment and frustration over the new line, being very critical of what they viewed as the inappropriate commodification of African American culture for the sake of business and trend.
The “Statement Making Compton Tee” and “N.W.A Muscle Tee” are now unavailable on Forever 21’s online retail site, though it is not certain if the controversy surrounding the T-shirts is the reason for their removal.
This is not the first time that the mega-retailer has been accused of cultural appropriation. In 2011, their “Oriental Girl” necklaces sparked a firestorm of criticism.