It’s not all runways and champagne in the fashion industry. There’s blood, sweat, tears, and drama that goes on that you probably don’t know, and there’s a reason for that. Sometimes, though, the drama bubbles through and some amazing stories get told. Destination Luxury presents to you the most controversial fashion moments. Fair warning, though: Things can get saucy.
AMERICAN APPAREL AD GIRLS
A rare case of “pick your poison”, American Apparel has had it’s own share of controversial and decidedly tasteless moments form recently fired chief executive Dov Charney: From (allegedly) posing with a topless model simulating fellatio to having a woman fake an orgasm in photo in order to sell… Knee-high socks, along with our previously mentioned up-skirt shots, and the Made In Bangladesh advertisements featuring a woman topless, there’s almost too many fashion moments to pick.
THE DEATH OF GIANNI VERSACE
Italian superstar and celebrity friend, the openly homosexual designer and face for the Versace line was the final victim of the 1997 killing spree of Andrew Cunanan. He was only fifty years old and left behind his partner of fifteen years and his multi-million dollar company to his sister, Donatella Versace.
CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT
Harvey Nichols proves that American Apparel’s Dov Charney doesn’t have dibs on sexist and unfortunate ad campaigns with their 2012 ad campaign, “Contain Your Excitement.” In these ads, Harvey Nichols thought it’d be best if they featured male and female models… Wetting themselves. While it’s debatable if they’re implying sexual arousal or just urination, I’m left to wonder… Who’d want this? At all?
While Calvin Klein is seen as a mostly safe brand now a days, back in 1981 they featured a VERY underaged Brook Shields talking about how nothing gets between her and her jeans. While sex selling is nothing new, the fact that an underaged girl was telling viewers at home that she wasn’t wearing underpants obviously started a bit of a panic at the time.
JOHN GALLIANO “I LOVE HITLER”
John Galliano was once hailed a genius and a visionary, one of the best boys at Dior. Now he’s hailed as a rather terrible person. In 2011 the British designer was brought into police custody for going on a racist and antisemitic tirade in a restaurant, only for a video showing him going on a different racist and antisemitic rant. He claimed to have “no memory” of them, despite video evidence, and was fired from his position in Dior. He seems to be trying to make a comeback in 2015.
COCO CHANEL: NAZI
Coco Chanel is known for modernizing how we look at fashion and clothes in general, and being a tornado of a personality. And according to a 2011 biography, she was also a Nazi sympathizer and may or may not have tried to pressure the British government to give into Hitler’s demands, and that her then-boyfriend Baron Hans Gunter von Dincklage was a Nazi agent. While this surfaced knowledge hasn’t seemed to hurt the brand too badly, it does make those handbags just a bit more uncomfortable.
KATE MOSS’ KIDS WEAR
Kate Moss is a fashion designer and model, and like most models she is surprisingly quotable, with one of her best lines being “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” A jarring line to be sure, the controversy comes in when it began appearing on children’s clothing. In America, 81% of ten-year-old girls are terrified of being fat and 72% of seven-year-olds are dieting and eating disorders are seeing an astronomical rise, there is no surprise that many people were outraged. In a rare moment of decency, it was revealed Kate Moss had nothing to do with the clothes and Zazzle (the seller) has since removed the clothing.
UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON BY OLIVIERO TOSCANI
The Italy-based Benetton Group has made it’s name through stark images and shocking advertisements, such as the infamous David Kirby ad showing him dying of AIDS in 1991. While the Benetton Group makes some beautiful clothes, they tend to be overshadowed by advertisements depicting death row inmates, three identical human hearts labeled “White, Black, Yellow,” or the clothes of a man killed in the Bosnian war. As the story goes, the brand had given Oliviero Toscani carte blanche to make whatever advertisement he saw fit, resulting in a marketing campaign that had nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with messages.
VOGUE PARIS’ BLACKFACE
Back in 2009, Vogue Paris featured a 14 page editorial spread featuring the Dutch super model Lara Stone. The problem? They featured several photos of Stone in ‘black face.’ While France and Australia both lack the racism of American past (minstrel shows coming to mind) the act of painting a white woman to appear as a black woman is still enough to set off an alarm In most countries.
Think of any we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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