The culture ministry said in a letter dated June 10 that the brand founded by Venezuela-born designer Herrera had used designs with meanings that were personal or specific to some families and communities.
The ruling party, the leftist National Regeneration Movement, has been planning legislation to protect indigenous communities from plagiarism and having their work used by others without receiving fair compensation.
In it, the ministry demanded that Herrera “publicly explain on what basis it decided to make use of these cultural elements, whose origins are documented, and how this benefits the (Mexican) communities.”
Two of the six garments from the Resort 2020 Collection feature a traditional flower embroidery known as “istmo de Tehuantepec” and another two use a colorful “Saltillo Sarape” stripe pattern, the ministry noted.
The extent to which fashion designers have profited from incorporating cultural designs either without acknowledging their origins or fairly compensating communities has been a point of contention in recent years.