Recently, Balenciaga found itself in some hot water after a controversial ad campaign, which CBS News describes, “The ads, which were said to be to promote Balenciaga’s plush bear bags, were part of the brand’s holiday campaign. The bears, however, are wearing BDSM gear and are being held by children that appear to be no more than 5 years old. In one of the pictures, a child is also surrounded by what appear to be wine and cocktail glasses.”
Now, Gucci’s promotion of their “HA HA HA” line is coming under similar fire thanks to a recent campaign featuring Harry Styles posing with a toddler-sized mattress. It was first shared back in November but has received increased attention recently.
Gucci called the campaign a “performance piece” and said (as NME notes), “Play is at the very heart of the collection, which uses menswear as a tool of the avant garde. 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. […] Harry Styles enacts a theatrical piece where classicism meets play, transforming the wardrobe into a liberated platform where the masculine can embrace vanity.”
Among those not pleased with the campaign is Alexandra Gucci Zarini, the great-granddaughter of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci. She tweeted, “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.”
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
Check out some more reactions below.
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
Let’s see if we can connect some dots. Gucci and Balenciaga are part of the same French corporation, Kering. Harry Styles features in this new Gucci ad campaign wearing a teddy bear t-shirt and carrying a child’s mattress. What might this mean?🤔 pic.twitter.com/agXOfZbzj2
— David Vance (@DVATW) December 18, 2022
Harry Styles poses in a teddy bear t-shirt while standing next to a small mattress and folks are losing their minds. It really it says more about their thoughts then it does about Styles and Gucci’s creative director.
— allheavens (@allheavens) December 21, 2022