NBA star Patty Mills' white girlfriend is accused of culturally appropriating his Torres Strait heritage with new ... - Daily Mail
The girlfriend of NBA star Patty Mills has been accused of appropriating his culture by designing a swimwear line inspired by his native Torres Strait Islands.
American Alyssa Levesque - who is dating 28-year-old point guard for the San Antonio Spurs - recently announced her new swimwear line, Strait Swim.
She described her brand as a 'chic, sophisticated swimwear line influenced by tradition'.
Her partner Mr Mills told Daily Mail Australia Ms Levesque spent years planning 'from a design point and culture point' to make sure she was respectful and didn't 'step on other people's toes'.
Levesque (above, in a piece from her range) recently announced her new swimwear line 'Strait Swim' on Instagram
Alyssa Levesque also told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday her new line was designed to celebrate the Torres Strait community not disrespect it
'She really respects the indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture, and I'm really proud of her,' he said.
Alyssa Levesque also told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday her new line was designed to celebrate the Torres Strait community not disrespect it.
But her decision to sell swimwear inspired by her longtime boyfriend's cultural heritage sparked controversy online.
Janis Ah Chee wrote on Facebook: 'So I'm wondering who in the Torres Strait Islands gave Patty Mill's kohleh woman permission to rip off our Torres Strait Culture and art and language with her new "Torres Strait-inspired" swim wear line, "Strait Swim".
'Check out her page and tell me how it's not misappropriation of our culture?
NBA star Patty Mills' Caucasian girlfriend is accused of culturally appropriating his Torres Strait heritage with new swimwear line
Ms Levesque's inspiration from her boyfriend's cultural heritage sparked controversy
Ms Levesque described her brand as a 'chic, sophisticated swimwear line influenced by tradition.' Above, models wearing Strait Swim pieces
'She is a white American woman, taking aspects of our Torres Strait Islander Culture and making a profit off it.'
'Give me a break. Is anyone else offended by this as much as I am?'
'What would you know about Patty. Do you know for certain she is selling it for profit?' another woman said defending the designer.
Alyssa Levesque told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday she had the utmost respect for the Torres Strait community.
Ms Levesque said her new swimwear line was designed to celebrate the indigenous Australian culture and educate people around the world about its rich history.
'Its vibrant colours, vibrant lifestyle means a lot to me,' she told Daily Mail Australia.
'I've been there to experience it with Patty plenty of times, and love it every time.
'We could not be happier to draw inspiration from such a beautiful, traditional and cultural place.'
Ms Levesque is the longtime girlfriend of Mills, the point guard for the San Antonio Spurs
Alyssa Levesque told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday she had the utmost respect for the Torres Strait community and wanted to celebrate it with her designs
Since her pre-launch of the line at the weekend, Ms Levesque said she already had a huge amount of interest in the designs and the meaning behind them.
With Strait Swim profits, Ms Levesque said she was committed to the community and promised to 'help out how I can'.
'The main thing I want people to know is how much I respect them and want to educate the world on the indigenous culture,' she said.
Ms Levesque said her inspiration and passion for the project came from her partner Patty Mills' family.
Mr Mills said he was a 'very proud indigenous Australian' and was thrilled to see Ms Levesque celebrate the culture too.
Alyssa Levesque, the girlfriend of NBA star Patty Mills (together, above) has been accused of appropriating his culture by designing a swimwear line inspired by the Torres Strait Islands
'She sees how I represent myself as a Torres Strait Islander and is very much a part of it,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'She wanted to have the chance to do the same thing and educate people about the culture.
'She obviously can't do it through the NBA like I do, so she does it with her own passion - design.'
Ms Levesque will launch Strait Swim in March.
Mr Mills said Ms Levesque spent years planning 'from a design point and culture point' to make sure she didn't 'step on other people's toes'
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