Paul Frank Collaborates with Native American Designers for Fall 2013 Collection

Jessica R. Metcalfe complains. It comes with the territory, being a prominent watchdog blogger and scholar who covers and studies how Native American imagery is appropriated for fashion.

She calls designers and companies out on her blog, Beyond Buckskin, when they misuse Native imagery (think: headdresses on the Victoria's Secret runway, "Navajo" print panties at Urban Outfitters). Sometimes they apologize; sometimes they don't. She complains, and usually that's it.

But when Metcalfe (who is Turtle Mountain Chippewa) lodged a complaint against family-friendly clothing and accessories company Paul Frank Industries in September 2012, the brand's response surprised her.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski