Kate Taylor reports a bizarre story of the continuing troubles of Zahi Hawass: "Using History to Sell Clothes? Don’t Try It With the Pharaohs".
“Zahi Hawass is a novel fashion line, not just for the traveling man, but the man who values self-discovery, historicism and adventure,” says the Web site for the company that designed the line. Some detractors have said that the Hawass clothing, which was first sold at Harrods in London this month, commercializes Egyptian history, and some object to the catalog because they thought — incorrectly, according to the makers of the clothing — that models had sat on or scuffed priceless ancient artifacts during the photo shoot.
Is there anyone with a worse sense of timing than the buyer at Harrods who approved this?
I actually don't have a problem with an archaeologist trying to make a buck. Did you hit my Amazon links? Except that Hawass was a government official. He has reportedly offered all of his share to charity, although the report leaves some doubt about the timing of that arrangement. Since Hawass has recently been sentenced to spend a year in jail, I think he's got bigger problems than poor taste. Banana Republic was unavailable for comment.
Still, the website featuring the collection is hilarious. Anybody who knows anything about archaeology obviously ain't gonna be caught dead wearing Zahi Hawass togs. So the collection is slickly marketed to spoiled posers ready to take a step beyond Abercrombie and Fitch. It's more or less what Brendan Fraser would be wearing if he rose out of beach sand like the Old Spice guy.
Maybe Harrods can salvage the collection by renaming it "Schliemann's Gold". That has sort of a Mad Men vibe.