Some corporate dunce at Dunkin Donuts decided to cave to pressure from some right wing loons in the US and pull a rather harmless ad for iced coffee because of the presenter was wearing the wrong kind of scarf (see above). And you thought South Africa had problems… Apparently the Keffiyeh, a scarf popular through out the middle east, is a symbol of terrorism. Uh no it’s a scarf worn by millions everyday. This could be just the tipping point the Keffiyeh needs as its been creeping into the global fashion hotlist over the last 2 years. No doubt they’ll be even more ridiculously popular now with the additional renegade factor. Certainly being picked up locally as i’ve seen South Africans sporting them for a while now.
Dunkin’ Donuts, after pulling the ad May 24, issued a statement from Margie Myers, senior vice president of communications for Dunkin’ Brands: “In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by the stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, as of this past weekend, we are no longer using the online ad because the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee.”
Trendy clothing store Urban Outfitters initially sold keffiyeh-like scarves until Jewish customers protested but reintroduced them with different colors in several global markets. Fashion house Balenciaga glamorized them on the runway.
Before the latest keffiyeh controversy, there was a row over the pop singer Ricky Martin’s sporting of a red keffiyeh to show support for the Palestinian human rights. Other celebrities, such as Collin Farrell, Mary Kate Olsen and Kanye West, have been wearing the keffiyeh.
It is deeply regrettable that a small group of dedicated Islamophobists tried to demonize the traditional Arab headdress (keffiyeh) worn by millions of people around the globe.
Just to prove the Keffiyeh’s cool factor in South Africa, check this dude out: he’s combining the ama kip kip t-shirt with one. I rest my case.
Update: When I had my hair cut at Scar on Friday at least 50% of the stylists were wearing them. This isn’t even a trend they’re actually ubiquitous.