Rihanna sparks cultural appropriation debate over models wearing braids in Savage x Fenty show

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Watch: Rihanna's Savage X Fenty show criticised for featuring models in braids

Rihanna has sparked another row about cultural appropriation after models wore braids on the catwalk for her latest fashion show.

Former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens and model Emily Ratajkowski were among those to appear on the catwalk at the unveiling of the Umbrella singer's latest collection for her lingerie brand Savage x Fenty with their hair in braids.

Hudgens, 32, is of Irish, French, Native American and Filipina descent, while Ratajkowski, 30, has English, Irish, Polish, German, and Polish Jewish heritage.

Emily Ratajkowski and Vanessa Hudgens wear braids for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)
Emily Ratajkowski and Vanessa Hudgens wear braids for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

After the fashion show – which also featured Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima among the models on the catwalk – was released on Amazon, some took to social media to express their concern about the use of braids on white models.

Read more: Rihanna accused of cultural appropriation for posing topless in Hindu pendant

Raina tweeted: "I wish I could write something as funny as Rihanna putting all these white girls in braids for the fenty show."

Rihanna's latest fashion show featured white models with their hair in braids. (AP)
Rihanna's latest fashion show featured models with their hair in braids. (AP)

And Dylan Ali posted: "I love the fenty show but I think we deserved a trigger warning for seeing this many white women in braids."

But Mrs.Whats It Too Ya commented: "I don't see anything wrong with the white female models have braids in their hair nope not at all and everyone is beautiful [sic]"

Last year Rihanna issued an apology after her lingerie brand used a recording that included a narration from the Hadith, a sacred Islamic text, during a fashion show for the lingerie brand.

Song Doom by producer Coucou Chloe included a remix of a Hadith narration that was played during a segment of the show. 

In the Islamic faith the Hadith is a sacred written record representing the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, used as guidance by Muslims.

Vanessa Hudgens at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show. (Getty Images)
Vanessa Hudgens at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show. (Getty Images)

And in February this year Rihanna was accused of cultural appropriation again after she posed topless while wearing a pendant that apparently depicts the Hindu God Ganesha.

Read more: Rihanna responds to Snapchat's 'dumb' domestic violence game

And in 2019, the Rude Boy singer faced online backlash after posing in Chinese clothing and ornaments for the cover of Harper's Bazaar China. 

The images had been intended to show what happens "when Western style icon meets Eastern aesthetic", the publication said at the time.

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