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People aren’t happy with a white woman who founded a company that sells $100 silk sleep bonnets and seems to claim that she invented the garment.
Many are saying that she is ignoring the fact that Black women have been wearing the garment for decades.
In an interview with Fashion Magazine, NiteCap founder Sarah Marantz Lindenberg said she “came up with the idea” before her wedding. In preparation for the day, Lindenberg said she wanted something that would help keep her face clear of blemishes and protect her hair.
not a white lady pretending she invented sleep bonnets and selling them for $100 https://t.co/DYxZNILJCE— vampire workday (@imbobswaget) July 20, 2019
“There were products on the market but none of them had a functional and fashionable solution for me–synthetic fabrics that I felt did more damage or horrible colors that I felt silly going to sleep in,” she told Fashion Magazine.
Black women have worn sleep bonnets and head wraps for years. Silk sleep bonnets can help protect their hair and make hairstyles last longer. It’s usually a part of their nightly routine.
“For many Black girls, tying your hair up at night with some sort of head covering is akin to brushing your teeth,” journalist Aria Hughes wrote in the Undefeated.
The Fashion Magazine article does not mention that Black women regularly use hair bonnets and have been doing so for generations. Twitter users are now sharing the article as yet another example of people appropriating Black culture for profit.
(Un)believable, @fashionmagazine. Black women have been wearing their hair in bonnets for DECADES, and this woman’s product is written about as though it’s some sort of innovation.— Claire (@claireshegoes) July 20, 2019
Talking Sleep Rituals with NiteCap Founder Sarah Marantz https://t.co/sZWyiIpEF1
This is straight up FOOLISHNESS! Now that a white woman is marketing something black woman have worn (and perfected) for at least ALL MY 46 YEARS, it's a THING? GTFOH!— I Am NikkiFree (@iamnikkifree) July 21, 2019
The NiteCap silk bonnets come in five different colors for just under $100. The company also sells silk scrunchies for $32. Prices for the hair bonnets depend on the material and style, but shoppers can find options for as little as $2 on Amazon.
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Sierra Juarez is a freelance journalist and fact-checker based in Mexico. She most enjoys writing about human rights and politics and working in audience engagement. Her work has appeared in the Texas Tribune, the Austin American–Statesman, and the San Antonio Current.