Halloween is a night that tests the boundaries of cultural appropriation. For Latinos – but Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in particular – that often means seeing their culture reduced to a sombrero and furry mustache. But it’s not all bad. Halloween also invites people to show off their creativity and wow us with their sewing (or shopping) skills. In anticipation of October 31, 2018, Fashion Nova has released its new costume collection – and while there’s definitely lots of cute options, there are also a few questionable ones.
Fashion Nova – a fast-fashion brand catering to curvy women – included a Selena look in its 2018 Halloween costume collection. The costume features the famed Selena jumpsuit from her last performance at Houston’s Astrodome. Although the original jumpsuit was a sparkly, plum bell-bottom number, the Fashion Nova version – named “La Flor” – is bright purple and made from spandex and polyester. The cleavage on Fashion Nova’s version is also more revealing than the original.
Last year, Kim Kardashian raised eyebrows after she posted a picture of one of her Halloween costumes, in which she dressed up as the Tejana queen. The reality TV show star was called out for appropriating Latino culture with her costume, so it’s possible that Fashion Nova also receive a lot of criticism.
And while some might feel offended by the Selena outfit, it’s not culturally insensitive. However, its Día de Muertos-themed costumes is offensive. Día de Muertos, incorrectly called Mexican Halloween, takes place in parts of Latin America to honor deceased family members and friends. Fashion Nova is selling three Día de Muertos costumes, including “Señorita Muerte,” which is already sold out, a “Mr. Muerte” look, and a “Day of the Dead Boy” costume.
Fashion Nova sells all of the costumes online (they are final sale, though, so beware if you choose to purchase from the store). While the retailer has helped to make the fashion world more diverse, it has also received criticism for reportedly stealing designs from famed and young designers alike. But the brand has the support of Amara La Negra, Adrienne Bailon, Cardi B and her sister, Hennessy.