Singer and actress Christina Milian, center, and two other guests pose with feathers and tomahawks at Paul Frank Industries' 'Dream Catchin' event.

Paul Frank Industries Will Take Major Steps to Reconcile With Native Americans


Over the past six days, bloggers Jessica Metcalfe (of Beyond Buckskin) and Adrienne K (of Native Appropriations) have led the protest against a racially-insensitive party thrown by Paul Frank Industries called "Dream Catchin." As Adrienne K giddily reports, Paul Frank Industries has responded to their concerns and promised major steps.

In a post titled "Am I Dreaming?" Adrienne K writes that she was contacted Wednesday by Elie Dekel, the president of Paul Frank Industries. Dekel wanted to set up a conference call with her and Metcalfe -- unfortunately Metcalfe was unable to participate (but will be having her own discussion with the company next week).

"The phone call went so much better than I could have even imagined," Adrienne says. "Elie was gracious, sincere, and kind from the beginning, and truly apologetic. He took full responsibility for the event, and said he wanted to make sure that this was something that never happened again, and wanted to learn more so he could educate his staff and colleagues."

According to Adrienne K, Dekel said that all Native imagery has been removed from the company's website and style guide, and manufacturers (who license the images from Paul Frank Industries) have been notified that Native designs are no longer authorized for production. Dekel went on to invite her and Metcalfe to participate in a panel about the use of Native imagery to be held at the International Licensing Merchandisers Association conference in June.

The final action Adrienne K describes is perhaps the most interesting: Paul Frank Industries will pair with a Native designer to produce new designs, and the proceeds from the sale of these items will go to a Native cause.

For many American Indians who have followed this story, it is hard to imagine a more satisfying outcome. "This is beyond a best case scenario," Adrienne K writes. "This is taking a relatively isolated event, and bringing it to a history-making level."

And for some Native designer out there, a big opportunity awaits.

Visit Native Appropriations to read Adrienne K's account in much more detail.

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