Fashion needs no introduction when it comes to controversies. In the name of creative freedom sometimes our fashion powerhouses have caught themselves receiving a lot of flak. Recently, H&M faced a lot of fire of an image that was posted on their website. The image was of a black child with a serious and blank expression dressed in a bottle green hoodie which had a caption printed on it saying, “Coolest monkey in the jungle”. The image of the little boy obviously didn’t go unnoticed especially when the other two white boys from the same photoshoot wore fun and colourful hoodies from the same range with child-like captions on it. H&M has been facing a lot of deserving backlash from celebrities and people all over the World. This however is not the first time that fashion campaigns are in hot water. Listed below are the most controversial fashion campaigns that didn’t really go down well with the people as they were hurtful, obscene or sensitive in nature. 


Dove’s insensitive racist video

The successful soap maker landed itself in trouble after posting a three-second video on their Facebook account which subtly hinted that whiteness equals to cleanliness. The advert shows a black woman wearing a brown T-shirt and as soon as she takes it off she and into a white woman wearing a white T-shirt. Dove removed the post the next day and also apologised but the damage was already done. 


Kendall’s Pepsi stunt

Supermodel Kendall Jenner received a lot of criticism for her Pepsi advertisement. In the ad, you can see many good-looking people clapping and dancing with joy as they walk a protest rally with the tagline Join The Conversation in the background. Kendall too figuratively takes her model mask off and becomes one with a crowd. The problem arises towards the climax as the group is stopped by a flock of police officers and in comes, the savior in Kendall who just offers them a Pepsi can and suddenly everything’s right in the world with the police officer even smiling. 

Pepsi pulled down the ad and issued a statement apologising for the same. The statement reads, “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologise,” and added, “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.”


Victoria’s Secret “Perfect Body” campaign faced a lot of burns

The super famous lingerie brand disappointed many fans across the globe with its advertisement which had the tagline, “The Perfect Body”. The ad featured supermodels who were pretty thin with long legs and large busted. Women were hugely offended as the glamorous lingerie brand was promoting an “ideal” body shape and disrespecting women of different body shapes. 


Dolce & Gabbana’s unethical projection of gang rape

We often see established fashion houses go all out and bold to grab attention towards their products and themselves in the name of creative freedom. Back in 2007, D&G came up with an ad campaign for which they were slammed left, right and centre. The ad showed supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio been pinned down by a shirtless man while been surrounded by other half-dressed men. The advertising was banned in Italy and Spain and globally people found the ad demeaning and degrading a woman’s position while making gangrape look glamorous. 


Zara’s hypocritic take on curves

Superfamous Spanish high street fashion brand Zara came under the radar after running a hypocrite campaign. The campaign sunk quicker than the campaign because of its double standard nature. The ad shows two skinny (read: very skinny) models posing and the image is captioned as “Love your curves.” Women across countries called it as an act of body shaming and projecting and promoting a wrong message. 


It is extremely disappointing to see people with the power of influencing and spreading a positive message and shaping the society act so irresponsible and misuse that power. Comment and share with us your thoughts. 


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