Portuguese State takes on US fashion designer over “abusive appropriation” of fisherman’s sweater

The Portuguese State is ready to take on US fashion designer Tory Burch for what appears to be the “abusive appropriation” of Portuguese cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Culture has said it will “do everything in its power” to ensure Ms Burch – considered the 88th ‘most powerful woman in the world’ by Forbes magazine last year – does not “fail in her responsibilities”.

The furore is over a “copy” of the traditional ‘camisola poveira’ – a sweater typical among the fishing community of Póvoa de Varzim.

Ms Burch presented the €695 sweater in a new collection, initially promoting it having been inspired by the Mexico Baja.

She has since admitted her mistake. In a tweet yesterday the 54-year-old designer and CEOsaid: “We sincerely apologise to the people of Portugal – it was brought to our attention that we misattributed a Spring 2021 sweater as Baja-inspired. It was a misstep that we did not reference the beautiful, fisherman’s sweaters as represented by the City of Póvoa de Varzim. We are correcting this error immediately and will note and honour that this sweater was inspired by Portuguese traditions. We want to further acknowledge this important tradition and are working with the municipality of Póvoa de Varzim on how best we can support local artisans. Tory Burch stands for inclusivity and celebrating diverse cultures, and we will strive to do better in the future. Please take a moment to visit: www.cm-pvarzim.pt”.

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