A lungi is a lungi; don’t let Zara convince you otherwise. For generations, many men in South Asia, including India, have been wearing one, mostly for its comfort factor, but when the fast-fashion retailer tries to pass this simple garment off as its creation and something for which you’ll need to shell out close to $90, a backlash is inevitable.
A closer look at the new product, which ties at the front just like a lungi, has left people flabbergasted, and so has its description: “Flowing skirt with draped detail in the front. Front slit detail at the hem. Zip fastening in the back hidden along the seam.” The garment, which has been rebranded as a “check mini skirt” for women, comes in four different sizes.
Ever since the product, a brown wraparound skirt, hit the shelves, Twitter has been ablaze with reactions, and photos comparing the new item with the quintessential lungi that is associated with dads, uncles and grandfathers.
“My dad’s lungi is probably cheaper than 3 pounds,” one user tried to remind Zara, “Those are def lungis. And it looks ridiculous. Some ‘designer’ just copied the design & nobody at Zara seems to have known better,” remarked another.
“#Zara is selling #Lungi and calling it ‘Flowing Skirt with Drapped Detail in Front’ = To me having Masala Dosa and calling it ‘Pan Griddled Rice Pancake stuffed with Spiced Potatoes’ on #Instagram,” read a hilarious tweet.
Some, like this one, resorted to offering a piece of advice that might help the Spanish fashion giant from committing the same mistake again. “If you need an argument as to why it’s important to have BAME people at every level in business and marketing, I give you the lungi-dads-skirt disaster by @ZARA where literally ANY Indian person could’ve pointed out in two minutes what the problem is with this.”
Some even accused Zara of appropriating South Asian culture. “Lol @ZARA check yourself before you appropriate clothing from another culture. This brings grandpa-chic to a whole new level. #zaralungi,” posted a Twitter user.
“So @Zara have released a ‘new skirt’ for hipsters. It’s a LUNGI. Stop stealing our traditions, stop making bindis, lungis, mehndi your thing. It isn’t Brand New! Stop calling our heritage your ‘hippy look.’ How Unoriginal!” tweeted another angry user.