What's a keffiyeh? Let's ask that mostly unreliable Wikipedia:
The keffiyeh (Arabic: كوفية, kūfīyä; plural: كوفيات, kūfīyāt) is also known as a shmagh, shemagh or yashmag (شماغ, šmāġ), a ghutra (غترة, ġuträ), a hatta (حطّة, ḥaṭṭä) or a mashada (مشدة, and is a traditional headdress of Arab men, made of a square of cloth ("scarf"), usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head. It is commonly found in arid climate areas to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well as for occasional use in protecting the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand.If you did know what a keffiyeh is, you probably knew because Yasser Arafat helped make it cool. Arafat, admittedly is not the best person to be taking fashion advice from, since aside from leading a revolt in the Palestinian territories also was one ugly dude, and ugly people don't know shit about fashion. I don't know anything about that being a stone fox, but people are always telling me not to dress like the uglies unless I'm being ironic.
Still, all the PLO-sympathizers in the world can't change the fact that the keffiyeh is a practical piece of clothing in the ungodly hot Middle East. So practical in fact, that according to the very same Wikipedia article, troops from America, Australia and England wear or have worn keffiyehs when running around the desert dropping Freedom Bombs. What do you have to say to that Malkin?
It’s just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing?Oy vey. Listen very carefully and imagine me saying this very slowly: the keffiyeh was around much, much longer than the PLO. Perhaps if triangular hoods were part of antebellum Southern fashion one could make the argument for marketing Klan hoods. But no one wore them, they wore giant unwieldy dresses and probably their slaves sometimes. Klan members didn't wear the hoods because they were comfortable and protected them from the ungodly Southern heat. Hell, it probably just made them hotter, which made them even angrier and they probably blamed blacks for it somehow. Where was I?
Ah yes, the Klan hood is not, and never was an integral or useful fashion item. So if The Gap started flogging triangular hoods that covered the entire face save for little eye slits, they wouldn't hear the end of it and they wouldn't deserve to.