Chinatown Market, the streetwear brand known for its bootleg-inspired designs, smiley face logo, and wide ranging collaborations, took to Instagram today to announce that they will be changing the brand’s name and donating the proceeds from remaining Chinatown Market merchandise to non-profit Asian American organizations.
Chinatown Market’s name has drawn criticism over the years for perpetuating the stereotype that “Chinatown” means bootleg and profiting off of cultural theft. These criticisms have been amplified as the brand continued to see success while xenophobia negatively impacted businesses in Asian communities across the country. As violence against Asian Americans continues to rise, Chinatown Market acknowledges that it should “think and act more honestly” and promises to make changes.
The brand plans to announce its new name in the coming months. You can read the full statement from the brand below.
The Asian American community is rightfully demanding all of us think and act more honestly. We should have done this sooner but it is never too late to do the right thing. Today, we are announcing that we are changing our name. We are working with our partners and retailers to donate the proceeds from existing products and work to fund non-profits working with the AAPI community.
Our name was inspired by the shops, people, and vibrance of Canal Street and Chinatown in New York but it’s not our name to use. We did not do enough to consider what this name would mean to the communities in Chinatowns across the world and we need to take ownership of this mistake. It’s time to do the right thing and we are committed to being a part of the change.
We would like to thank all of the leaders who are helping us get this right. We want to make this change in partnership with the community to create as much impact as possible. We want to shout out @toda and @bennyluo and NextShark who have given us so much of their time and guidance.
This is just the beginning. As a brand, we’ve always moved through action in any platform we occupy, with the goal of connecting with our communities. To keep doing that, we must no longer be called Chinatown Market. We will be announcing our new name in the coming months.
We are deeply saddened and horrified by the increase in racist attacks and violence on the AAPI community. We encourage everyone in our community to be a part of this change with us. The hate, racism, and violence directed at the Asian community has to be stopped.
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