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Summer Walker’s 2022 BET Awards outfit turned heads — but some people didn’t like what they saw.
The “No Love” singer hit the red carpet on Sunday night wearing a Laurel Street look comprised of a miniskirt and completely open “bra” made of black crystals and gold coins, along with a pair of gilded pasties.
As the newly pregnant star (who uses they/them pronouns) shared on Instagram, the sexy getup was “inspired by traditional Hmong jewelry.”
Many on the platform swiftly criticized Walker, 26, for “sexualizing” the attire of the indigenous people, who primarily live in Southwest China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar.
“This ain’t it,” one Instagram user commented on their post, while others chimed in with “just no,” “oh nah” and “girl this is still not okay.”
Added another, “giving credit is nice but wearing it like this is still not cool.”
While Walker has yet to respond to the criticism, Laurel Street issued an apology on Instagram Stories Monday.
“I am of South Asian heritage I understand we should have mentioned the beautiful Hmong culture,” the brand wrote. “I didn’t mean to offend any of you, I love to celebrate all cultures [and] diversity … I apologies [sic] for not sharing and educating on the history of the Hmong people and I will further educate myself.”
The statement continued, “I understand a lot of you are offended that was not my intention at all … it was not our intention to sexualise [sic] theses [sic] pieces but more a celebration of life and the beauty of women.”
This marks the second time Walker has landed in hot water for an attempted homage to the Hmong people. On Saturday, they posed wearing a similar look (by a different designer) in silver, and faced similar accusations of cultural appropriation.
As one commenter pointed out, Walker’s top is modeled after the Xauv, which “was once used as an item to identify Hmong people when we were enslaved by the Chinese people.” Now, the Xauv is worn to represent “freedom and independence.”
On Saturday, the Atlanta native announced they’re expecting a baby with rapper-stylist LVRD Pharaoh, born Larry Lambert. In November, the couple cemented their relationship by tattooing each other’s names on their faces.
The “Purple Hearts” singer is also the mother of a 1-year-old daughter nicknamed “Bubbles,” from a relationship with producer London On Da Track.
Walker, who goes by “Awkward Kween” on Instagram, did not win at the BET Awards. The singer lost Best Female R&B/Pop Artist to Jazmine Sullivan.
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