Trelise Cooper’s apology labelled ‘disingenuous’

A leading art theorist from the University of Auckland has labelled Dame Trelise Cooper's apology "disingenuous".

Trelise Cooper

A photo of a model wearing a Native American headdress was posted on the New Zealand fashion designer's Facebook page yesterday ahead of her New Zealand Fashion Week show.

Dame Trelise originally described the outfit as capturing '70's bohemian vibes', but later apologised after the headdress sparked outrage online, with some saying it was racist and a misappropriation of culture.

"I genuinely respect and honour all culture, races and religions," says Dame Trelise.

But Dr Peter Shand is questioning her apology, saying that there's been plenty of fashion events overseas that have recently made headlines for the misuse of 'war bonnets'.

"lf she's going to claim ignorance of what's gone on overseas that means she's not in touch with international fashion, for one of the leading fashion designers in New Zealand, that would seem highly unlikely."

Auckland Mayor Len Brown, who was sitting in front row of the show yesterday, says he believes "her apology is an absolute indication of her integrity