A GOLD Coast activewear label founder enraging Hindu devotees with leggings depicting a religious deity is unapologetic and says they’re best-sellers.
The Universal Society of Hinduism yesterday urged Gold Coast activewear company Flow Yoga Wear to immediately withdraw a line of yoga pants with images of Lord Ganesha, calling them highly inappropriate.
The society’s US president and Hindu statesman Rajan Zed is a frequent critic of commercial depictions of Lord Ganesha and verbally attacked Selena Gomez for performing at the 2013 MTV Awards with a religious bindi on her forehead.
In 2013, he successfully had a line of Urban Outfitters $8 socks removed from sale which also depicted Lord Ganesha.
President Zed said yesterday deity Lord Ganesha was highly revered and meant to be worshipped at temples or shrines, “not to adorn one’s legs”. “Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agendas was not ok as it hurt the devotees.”
But last night Flow Yoga Wear founder Kylie Morris said she considered her use of icons and motifs in the clothing designs “as a method of honour and respect”.
“We believe our careful and considered use of those aspects in our designs as an artistic expression does nothing but enhance and embrace the various powers of divinity.”
Ms Morris, who sells online and has several stockists on the Gold Coast plus in New South Wales and Victoria, said the Ganesha designs were launched in 2015 when she started the label, “… and still happens to be one of our best sellers”.
“We have never had a single person of any faith ever express anything negative to us about the Ganesha design (nor any of our other designs that also occasionally use religious or iconic themes).
“We have no desire or intent to offend and would be happy to discuss or hear any views from anyone interested in this.”
The yoga pants, advertised on the Flow Yoga Wear website as “Ganesha leggings”, are $75 a pop.
Ms Morris’ website says her Australian designed and manufactured yoga pants are “not for the faint-hearted”.
One Gold Coast stockist of activewear, and Flow Yoga Wear product lines on occasion, told the Bulletin they were not selling the Ganesha leggings and understood the upset.
“No, I’m not surprised about the reaction to be honest. They are quite graphic, but she has some very lovely leggings.”