Sabyasachi apologises for ‘saree’ remark

Published: February 15, 2018 13:41:02 | Updated: February 18, 2018 13:55:06

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Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee has apologised after facing backlash over his comment on Indian women who do not know how to wear 'saree', a traditional garment.

At an event at Harvard University last week, the designer criticised the young women of his country who are unwilling to wear the traditional outfit and give preference to Western outfits, saying "shame on you".

The comment sparked a huge backlash on social media, with women calling it patriarchal and discriminatory.

In an open letter posted on Instagram on Wednesday, the designer said he regretted his choice of words.

Sarees, worn every day by millions of Indian women, are lengths of wide fabric that are wrapped around the waist and then draped over one shoulder.

Mukherjee is one of India's most sought after fashion designers and he counts many high-profile Bollywood actresses among his clients, says the BBC.

"I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a sari, I would say shame on you. It's a part of your culture, you need to buck up and stand up for it," said Mukherjee, speaking at the Harvard India Conference.

But later he said his remarks were not intended to disrespect anybody.

"I am sorry that I used the word 'shame' in reference to some women's inability to wear a saree," the designer wrote in his apology.

He said he was responding to a question from an audience member who asked if wearing a saree was 'taboo' among young women who felt the garment made them seem older.

Before his apology, many women had taken to social media to vent their anger, describing his remark in the US as misogynistic and an insult to the saree.

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