Designers behind .dsquaw awarded Team Canada Rio 2016 clothing contract
Canadian fashion designers Dsquared2 partner with Hudson's Bay Company
Canadian fashion designers Dsquared2 will be designing Team Canada's clothing for the upcoming Rio Olympics, a move that has drawn fire from some indigenous activists.
The label, helmed by Toronto-born twins Dean and Dan Caten, faced backlash last year over a fashion line that was being marketed with the name .dsquaw.
CBC SPORTS | Canada's Olympic outfits to be designed by Dsquared2
The line featured stereotypical aboriginal outfits and was criticized for appropriating aboriginal culture.
The company, which said the 2015-16 collection .dsquaw was partly inspired by "Canadian Indian tribes" according to its website, has since removed all references to .dsquaw from its website and its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The decision by Hudson's Bay Company to partner with Dsquared2 has drawn criticism on social media.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hudsonsbay">@hudsonsbay</a> Because nothing says we conquered your world like awarding racism with opportunity x <a href="https://twitter.com/Dsquared2">@Dsquared2</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamCanada?src=hash">#TeamCanada</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Rio2016_en">@Rio2016_en</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dsquaw?src=hash">#dsquaw</a>—@pitsiulaaq
<a href="https://twitter.com/hudsonsbay">@hudsonsbay</a>, openly hating on indigenous people since 1670. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dSquaw?src=hash">#dSquaw</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rematriate?src=hash">#rematriate</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash">#cdnpoli</a><a href="https://t.co/Bi9VloHbD9">https://t.co/Bi9VloHbD9</a>—@taku_iskwesis
However, Northwest Territories fashion designer Darcy Moses, who is Dene, says he's not surprised the company got the nod.
"Dsquared2 is a very well established company with enormous backing and they certainly are able to produce it in the quality and the volume that is required for an Olympics team," he said.
In a statement announcing the decision by the Hudson's Bay Company, the Caten brothers said they are "constantly inspired by Canada" and that it was an honour to dress Team Canada.
"The opening ceremony look is made with our passion for our birth country mixed with the energetic spirit of Dsquared2," the statement said.
In an emailed statement, Hudson's Bay Company said "Our commitment is to provide our athletes with a collection that makes them feel confident as they represent our country at the Olympics."
It said it "looked to Canadian design duo Dsquared2 to design an opening ceremony uniform that captured the spirit of sport and a sense of national pride."
Canadian Olympic Committee representatives have not responded to a request for comment.
The fashion designers have also outfitted their share of A-list stars, most recently Beyonce, who wore a custom creation by the label during her Super Bowl half-time performance.
The Dsquared2-designed opening ceremony outfit and the full Team Canada collection is slated to be unveiled in April.