During London’s Fashion Week, Mowalola Ogunlesi, a Nigerian-born fashion designer currently based in London, unveiled her latest fashion collection, Mowalola SS24. However, her fashion brand came under fire when a model walked the runway wearing a mini-skirt that had a Saudi Arabian flag on it.
People got upset because the Saudi flag has this sacred phrase written in Arabic, and many thought it was disrespectful to use it in a fashion design. While other mini-skirts in the show had flags from different countries, people said the Saudi flag should not have been used because of the religious words on it.
People on social media criticized the designer for being insensitive, and some even thought she was just trying to get attention. Some people called on the brand to admit its mistake and show that they’re willing to learn from it. They talked about how important it is to respect other people’s beliefs and cultures and not to use them inappropriately.
At first, the designer defended her choice and responded in a way that made people even angrier, writing, “cry me a river” on her X profile.
But later, she said she was sorry and admitted she made a mistake. She explained that she got inspired by flags from different countries for her collection and didn’t realize how important the religious words on the Saudi flag were. Mowalola promised to take that design out of her collection right away and said sorry for any hurt or offense it caused. She said, “One of my key inspirations for SS24 was to use the national flags of different countries. 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 apologise for this.” She added, “I’ll ensure this design is removed from the collection. I deeply regret any hurt or offense my oversight may have caused. Thank you for holding me accountable, and I appreciate your understanding as I learn from this experience.”