Gucci have been criticised for a recent advertising campaign that features Harry Styles posing with a toddler’s mattress.
The campaign, for Gucci’s ‘HA HA HA’ collection, has been described as inappropriate, following Balenciaga’s recent controversial Christmas advertising campaign.
Last month, the French luxury fashion house was widely condemned after it pulled a series of commercials that contained alleged sexualised images of children and court documents related to child pornography cases.
Figures from across the fashion industry and beyond voiced their criticisms and concerns on social media, with many calling on people to boycott the company.
Kanye West, who worked with Balenciaga before it cut ties with the rapper last month over his antisemitic comments, has since spoken about the controversy. His ex-wife Kim Kardashian – an ambassador for the brand – also addressed the issue.
Having already posted two apologies, Balenciaga took to Instagram on November 28 to further explain the axed campaign. “The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility,” they said.
Gucci’s ‘HA HA HA’ collection has been described as the product of a friendship between Styles and recently departed creative director Alessandro Michele.
“Play is at the very heart of the collection, which uses menswear as a tool of the avant garde,” Gucci said. “Harry Styles showcase[s] the ‘dream wardrobe’ defined by the eccentric use of romantic accents, whimsical prints, vintage details and the expressive emotionality of the individual.”
Speaking of the campaign, Gucci called it a “performance piece”, adding: “Harry Styles enacts a theatrical piece where classicism meets play, transforming the wardrobe into a liberated platform where the masculine can embrace vanity.”
Critics of the new Gucci campaign include Alexandra Gucci Zarini, the great-granddaughter of the fashion house’s founder, Guccio Gucci.
Gucci was created to be the most elegant brand with the highest quality product. The direction it seems to be taking now is concerning. The protection of children should always come first and not be laughed at. #GUCCIHAHAHA #Gucci #Kering #Balenciaga
— Alexandra Gucci Zarini (@GucciZarini) December 19, 2022
Why does #gucci have Harry Styles, a grown man posing with a child’s mattress and a pink teddy bear t shirt? Im not loving this. pic.twitter.com/1Fc2kIDcjN
— Gillian McKeith (@GillianMcKeith) December 18, 2022
Does #Gucci and #Balenciaga share the same parent company? Not sure why a child’s mattress or a teddy bear even need to make an appearance. Why can’t these campaigns just stay away from associating with kids? pic.twitter.com/nze4AwzT7l
— Sadaf Jadran (@SadafJadran) December 18, 2022
“Why would you create a ‘performance piece’ with a toddler’s mattress and an adult man?” Zarini wrote on social media. “My concerns are that there seems to be a common ideology across Kering’s fashion houses.
“Gucci was created to be the most elegant brand with the highest quality product. The direction it seems to be taking now is concerning. The protection of children should always come first and not be laughed at.”