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Samoan outrage over Nike designs

Wednesday 14 Aug 2013 11:11 a.m.

There is outrage from the Samoan community over a new series of designs by an international sports giant.

Nike has released a set of women's sportswear inspired by traditional tatau, or tattoos of the Pacific.

But the leggings, in particular, create the illusion the wearer has a tattoo called the Pe'a, which is reserved for men.

Mangere MP Sua William Sio admits he's disturbed.

"It just smacks of the colonisation all over again – a big, multi-national company exploiting something that they don't understand, something that's regarded as 'measina', or treasure, of the Samoan community, for the sake of profit," he says.

Mr Sio says he would support a campaign against the Nike sportswear.

Nike says the tattoo collection is not available in New Zealand and will be pulled from the Nike website tomorrow morning.

"We apologise to anyone who views this design as insensitive to any specific culture," Nike says in a statement. "No offense was intended. The collection was of a limited run and no additional items will be sold."  

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