Cultural appropriation is the process in which one culture adopts specific rudiments of another culture, usually a culture that is underrepresented or oppressed. Appropriation draws a very thin line between inspiration and defamation. Fashion has borrowed elements from other cultures as marketing techniques for many years. Native American culture is one of many underrepresented cultures who have fallen victims to this trend. Fashion merchandisers have tried to recreate patterns, colors, and unique designs of the Native American culture. However, they fail to appreciate the complexity and history behind the individuality of the Native culture. Appropriation of the Native American culture in fashion merchandisers has degraded the significance and power behind each element of the Native identity. .
The fashion industry is very influential in society. People follow trends that are presented in the fashion world. They way that fashion industry has interpreted Native American culture and/or style, has influenced the way Americans now think of Indians. They have created certain stereotypes for the Indian culture that Native Americans have not been too pleased with. Fashion merchandisers have used their power to manipulate trends based on the misappropriation of the underrepresented culture. The fashion industry recognizes women's need to fulfill societal demands and have acted upon it. They conceptualized their own perspective on the Native American culture and implemented it in their merchandise to conform consumer's wants. For example, Victoria Secret presented a bathing suit inspired by the Native American culture. It was a tiny leather biking. In addition, the model wore a long headdress and turquoise jewelry. All of this is connected to the Indian culture. However, this assimilation of the Indian persona was used to generate profits rather than to embrace and pay tribute to the culture. The fashion industry has a large amount of power to influence consumers' wants and desires.