Let’s talk about upsetting clothing lines! In September, model Tess Holliday called out online retailer Revolve after it advertised a sweatshirt with the words “Being fat is not beautiful it’s an excuse” printed on the front. The body-positive advocate shared a screenshot of the garment on Twitter, writing, “LOLLLLL @REVOLVE y’all are a mess.” Others online questioned how the shirt made it onto the website in the first place. According to Revolve, which released a statement to People following the controversy, the shirt was part of a collaboration with LPA that was meant to provide “commentary on the modern day ‘normality’ of cyberbullying and the shared desire to create a community for those most affected by the epidemic.”
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall/Winter 1993 Collection, “Chic Rabbis” was what Jean Paul Gaultier labeled his Fall/Winter 1993 show because it was inspired by a trip to NYC where he encountered a group of rabbis leaving the New York Public Library. The designer said he loved the elegance of their dress with their hats and huge coats flapping in the wind but the collection came under fire for being culturally insensitive with specific complaints from Hasidic groups concerning female models in the show wearing traditionally masculine hairstyles and clothes.
Gigi Hadid’s Vogue Arabia Cover, While it was welcome news that Vogue launched the first-ever Arabian version of the magazine, the release was nothing short of controversial. The inaugural cover model was Gigi Hadid, who has covered almost thirty Vogue issues in her short career. The issue? Many felt that this was an opportunity to have a model from the region grace the cover rather than an American. For her part, Gigi Hadid is half-Palestinian, a point that many supporters brought up in the debate as well.
It’s the job of director of Chanel Karl Lagerfeld to always have his finger on the pulse. In 2015, he tapped into feminism’s recent wave and staged a protest at the end of his show. Hashtag activism and pop culture protests are on the rise, and Lagerfeld’s models also took to the ‘streets’: a runway entitled Boulevard Chanel, created inside the Grand Palais. Cara Delevingne and Caroline de Maigret had megaphones, while a parade of models including Kendall Jenner, Georgia May Jagger, Edie Campbell, Joan Smalls, and even Gisele Bündchen brandished signs that read “History is Her Story,” “Feminism Not Masochism,” “We Can Match the Machos” and “Ladies First.” Even male model Baptiste Giabiconi waved a “He For She” banner, which just might be our favorite nod to Emma Watson’s global UN campaign yet. The “Free Freedom” sign may have been an ironic nod to Free the Nip, the cause du jour for models like Delevingne, who opened the show, and Kendall Jenner, who Instagrammed about it post-show. “I’m Every Woman” blared from the speakers, and everyone danced in their seats. Did Lagerfeld just co-opt feminism to sell some clothes? All we know is that feminism itself is controversial at the moment.
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