Why are Gucci & Harry Styles facing backlash over ad featuring toddler’s mattress?

Netizens are bashing Harry Styles and Gucci for their new ad campaign, which features the English singer and songwriter posing next to a toddler’s bed mattress in a teddy bear shirt. In light of the controversial Balenciaga ad campaigns which featured BDSM-themed teddy bears, many netizens are slamming luxury fashion brand Gucci for using “inappropriate imagery” for their promotions. And, some even noted that both brands are owned by The Kering Group. 

Unveiling the ‘HA HA HA’ campaign on social media, Gucci wrote, “A performance piece starring Harry Styles and the Gucci HA HA HA collection, discover the campaign at the link in bio.”

On Gucci’s website, the meaning behind the campaign was elaborated. “The House presents the Gucci HA HA HA campaign featuring British singer-songwriter and actor, Harry Styles. Arising from the friendship between him and creative director Alessandro Michele, play is at the very heart of the collection, which uses menswear as a tool of the avant-garde,” it read. 

“Captured by Mark Borthwick, the series of images sees Harry Styles showcase the ‘dream wardrobe’ defined by the eccentric use of romantic accents, whimsical prints, vintage details, and the expressive emotionality of the individual,” Gucci’s site concluded. 

Reacting to the post, several netizens said that photos are “not a good look” for Harry “as a grown man”. “Why are all fashion brands ad makers sick creeps,” said one user. “A child’s mattress and a teddy bear shirt, nothing to see here unless you’re a perv,” said another. 

A third netizen commented, “Why is a toddler bed in this? Why the teddy bear shirt? What is the angle? Aside from strange?” And, adding to the debate, one simply said, “This is not acceptable at all.” 

Alexandra Gucci Zarini, great-granddaughter of Gucci’s founder, also slammed the campaign in a social media post. She wrote, “@gucci Why would you create a ‘performance piece’ with a toddler’s mattress and an adult man? My concerns are that there seems to be a common ideology across Kering’s Fashion Houses.”

The brand is yet to address the public outrage.

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