ASOS faces backlash after launching ‘problematic’ bridalwear collection

TikTok user jokes about North Face jacket she got from ASOS

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The online retailer revealed the expansion of its bridal range earlier this week on social media, which was quickly met with a large response. Some shoppers praised the new items, but many felt that they were “problematic” or not actually bridal at all.

The expansion of the range includes Lehengas, outfits which are traditionally worn at special South Asian ceremonies, events and weddings.

Writing on Twitter alongside two images from the new collection, ASOS said: “We’ve just expanded our bridal range.”

The collection was instantly met with criticism, with thousands sharing their thoughts on the post.

One wrote: “This isn’t bridal, if it were red then maybe I’d just laugh it off. This is going to your brother-in-laws house for dinner wear…”

Another said: “There’s no way these are bridal. Stay in your lane ASOS.”

Some customers felt the items were a form of cultural appropriation and could be taking away business from Asian-owned companies.

One said: “I’d rather support my local south Asian than a big corporation looking to capitalise off another culture.”

A second wrote: “Not you guys profiting off of South Asian culture just to make money. Much rather buy from a South Asian made brand thank you very much.”

There were also people that liked the new range, praising its diversity and inclusion.

One commented: “Amazing!! -for everyone else who are saying they’re taking away from small business THEN SIMPLY DONT BUY IT lol no one is forcing you not to go to your local small business… I personally think this is great for them last minute people (like myself) who want quick cheap option.”

A second said: “This is why I shop at ASOS thanks for bringing the diversity!”

One South Asian told the Manchester Evening News: “That is not bridalwear. That is like, every day wear. I do know it needs to be WAY MORE affordable than it currently is, but this ain’t it.

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“It’s good to have some affordable stuff out there especially when you can’t travel to India, Leicester or Southall. But if you’re going to do a whole line of it, make it worthwhile.”

The second said: “I quite appreciate it in some ways because it acknowledges we exist too, and it’s giving Indian models work (though we deserve mainline stuff too).”

A spokesperson for ASOS said: “This product is part of our new South Asian wedding collection. One of our ASOSers, who is South Asian, suggested we create more pieces like this, so we can make sure we’re offering the best fashion for a variety of occasions.

“He assisted in the buying, design and creation of these products to bring the collection authenticity, educated our team on the cultural context, fabrics and terminology, and had final approval of the designs.

“It’s something we feel passionately about, and which we want to continue in the future.”

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