A print fashion designer in London has been accused of cultural appropriation after using images of the Hindu warrior goddess Durga for a line of clothing released earlier this year.
Sera Ulger, based in Dalston, East London released a swimsuit, jacket, and a pair of trousers containing the image in January, apologizing later for offending the Hindu community “without meaning to.”
“My brand is about girl power, woman power. It’s about attitude with a lot of emotion to the print. So using the goddess went hand in hand,” Ulger told the Evening Standard after an initial backlash.
“Not everyone loves it but that’s okay with the creative industry, you either love it or hate it. It would cost me thousands of pounds to take it out of production, something I can’t afford. I’m not a massive brand and I want to be able to express myself without someone telling me I can’t.”
Several months later, netizens have called out Ulger once again for continuing to sell the controversial pieces, deleting comments and blocking people on social media.
In a series of stories on Thursday, Hindu Instagram user @smriti__shah described how Ulger has tried to silence those who complained about the print, such as herself.
The drama apparently started after @smriti__shah posted a story asking Ulger to remove the jacket from production.
“@seraulgerldn delete the f*** out of this jacket and stop plastering my religion on clothing for its aesthetic lol.”
Ulger allegedly turned off all comments for the post @smriti__shah had shared in her story.
As of this writing, Ulger’s Instagram page, which goes by the username @serauglerldn, is not available.
@smriti__shah also discovered that Ulger had branched out to sell a shirt containing the same image for men.
“Go report this brand PLEASE,” she urged people.
Additionally, @smriti__shah was enraged about the fact that Ulger, who referred to the image as Goddess Sherwali, claimed that the print “has a Sri Lankan-inspired goddess.”
“Oh my … apparently Ma Durga is a Sri Lankan-inspired goddess … now I’m losing track of how many cultures we’re appropriating.”
In one story, Ulger is seen responding to a direct message with “F*** off!”
@smriti__shah, who has also taken the matter to Twitter, asked others to help her boycott Ulger’s brand.
PSA: BOYCOTT @SeraUlgerLDN #seraulgerldn for deleting comments/blocking ppl& continuing to make MANY different styles of clothing with this print because “I want to express that without anyone telling me I can’t.” They use the Hindu goddess Durga and deem it “Sri Lankan inspired” pic.twitter.com/J8mS3H2N2t
— Memeaholics (@sssketches1) July 18, 2019
It remains unclear whether people can convince Ulger to pull all the questionable pieces from her store.
As of this writing, only the jacket, officially the Goddess Print Puffer Jacket, is available on Ulger’s website for £450 ($562.84).