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Nike apologises over Samoan tattoo-inspired tights

Published: 7:36PM Wednesday August 14, 2013 Source: ONE News

Global sportswear giant Nike has stopped production of a line of women's running tights depicting indigenous tattoos after the apparel sparked outrage among the Pacific community.

The design on Nike's Pro Tattoo Tech tights, which are part of the women's range of sportswear, was labelled exploitative of a traditional Samoan tattoo reserved only for men.

Labour MP Su'a William Sio said Nike had not thought about the cultural significance of the tattoo, known traditionally as a Pe'a.

"Before you launch into something like this, there's generally a consultation with those whose pattern who have ownership of this pattern."

"I don't think nike has taken the time to do that."

Nike said the leggings were not available in New Zealand and were never intended for our market.

"The Nike tattoo tech collection was inspired by tattoo graphics," the company said in a statement.

"We apologize to anyone who views this design as insensitive to any specific culture. No offense was intended."