NiteCap, a company founded by Sarah Marantz Lindenberg, has received backlash with following what many perceive as cultural appropriation. The company produces a $98 silk hair bonnet that's essentially a gentrified version of a $5 product, and Twitter isn't happy especially as Lindenberg gave an interview in which she was praised as an innovator.
In an interview with Fashion Magazine, Marantz Lindenberg, who is white, said she came up with the idea in the lead-up to her wedding. "I was preparing for my wedding and like a lot of brides, wanted everything to be perfect. My skin was breaking out, and I have quite long hair," she said. "A dermatologist recommended that I sleep with my hair pulled back. Another physician recommended I try silk scarves and I had fun playing around with them, but they didn’t stay on."
She added that she was inspired by "the rich history of hair wrapping," but the article does not make any reference to the hair bonnet's roots in black culture. Needless to say, the criticism regarding NiteCap was swift. The company has since issued an apology.
"NiteCap was developed because I was searching for a product that looked and performed exactly the way I wanted, for my personal use," company founder Sarah Marantz Lindenberg wrote on Instagram. "It was important [to] me that the product was produced locally in Canada and made from natural fabrics. A small business grew quickly, but in the process, I failed to connect it back to the broader historical context. We stand with those who are hurt, and we respect and hear their voices. We’re committed to honoring the historical significance of hair wrapping and this will now be part of our approach."
Check out some of the responses to her "invention" below.