Toronto-born designers, Dean and Dan Caten, founders of the fashion line Dsquared2, have been announced as the designers of the Canada’s Rio 2016 athlete kit and fan gear. The line is having quite the month– already they were the design house behind Beyonce’s Super Bowl outfit. In the past, they have created looks for celebrities including Jennifer Lopez.
— Design Canada (@The_CDR) February 13, 2016
The decision to have them design the Olympic gear comes with controversy though. Many know of Dsquared2 after they came under fire during the 2015-16 season for a line that claimed to be inspired by the “Indian tribes of Canada” and used the offensive hashtag #dsquaw as a promotional tool.
Indigenous activists and supporters quickly pointed out the line’s perpetuation of inappropriate stereotypes and the hateful nature of the term “squaw.” The fashion house later took down all photos and references to the term from their site.
— Leslie Varley (@LeslieVarley) February 13, 2016
Now, this all-too recent event has many criticizing the Hudson Bay’s decision to partner with Dsquared2 for the upcoming summer Olympics. Many feel as though a line that showed such insensitivity to Indigenous cultural heritage is unequipped to represent the nation as a whole, on the international design stage.
The Opening Ceremony outfit and team uniform is expected to be released in April.