It all started when] Mowalola Ogunlesi’s eponymous label came under fire for a mini skirt revealed during her Spring/Summer 2024 runway show, that featured the Saudi Arabian flag, on September 15.
The flag, which includes a religious inscription, carries a particular weight. After the Mowalola’s skirt hit the runway alongside other natural flag pieces, social media users took to platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram to call out the skirt as “disrespectful” and “offensive” to the Islamic religion and culture.
Instagram users even flooded Mowalola’s comments, asking the designer to remove the piece from the collection and apologize for her use of the flag: “Apologize to Saudi Arabia and delete your design.”
Mowalola initially responded to the controversy on X, writing in an X post: “A mini skirt being an act of war in 2023 is so dystopian.” Mowalola also posted “Cry me a river,” seemingly in response to backlash.
“It’s not about the skirt. You are insulting a whole religion by using religious words as a design on the skirt. Have some shame and admit your fault. It’s a simple thing,” one X user posted.
On September 16, Mowalola apologized for the skirt, writing in an X post, “After the show, I found that one of these flags — Saudi Arabia — features sacred words, and its use has caused great offense.”
“Now that I’ve been educated on this topic, I sincerely apologize for this. I’ll ensure this design is removed from the collection.”
Mowalola staged its SS24 presentation on Friday during London Fashion Week, which saw Kanye West (now Ye) and his wife Bianca Censori in attendance while model Irina Shayk opened the show.
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