ITALIAN luxury fashion label Gucci is facing a backlash for showing straitjackets as part of its 2020 spring/summer collection during Milan Fashion Week on Sunday.
The jackets were meant to make a statement about self-expression and are not to be sold in stores, Bloomberg reported.
Nevertheless, one model, Ayesha Tan Jones, apparently objected to the show and had secretly written “Mental health is not fashion” on the palms of her hands, which she held up as she walked down the runway.
Tan later posted on Instagram that straitjackets symbolise “a cruel time in medicine when mental illness was not understood” and called Gucci’s use of the imagery “hurtful and insensitive.”
Responding to the apparent sabotage and criticism, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele said that he had designed “blank-styled” clothes to make a point about fashion and self-expression.
In a statement issued immediately after Tan’s stunt, he said that the clothes were included “as the most extreme version of a uniform dictated by society and those who control it.”
But this did nothing to appease netizens, as a flood of messages appeared on social media accusing Gucci of mocking mental illness.
This is not the first time the fashion house has had a brush with controversy.
In February, it was forced to apologise for selling a US$890 (RM3,700) black turtleneck with a design resembling blackface images.
The company immediately removed the sweater from all stores.
And from Bloomberg: