Following the controversial Balenciaga scandal involving children, it appears that Gucci is the next luxury brand to be egged online.
But, unlike Balenciaga, Gucci has a big name on its poster, and the internet is divided about it – Harry Styles.
The Grammy-winning singer posed for Gucci’s new HA HA HA ad campaign with lyrics from his song “Watermelon Sugar” on his shirt.
Gucci posted photos of Styles wearing the shirt while holding a child-size mattress and modeling it with an angry-looking pink teddy bear on their Instagram account.
Gucci said about the photos:
“A performance piece starring Harry Styles and the Gucci HA HA HA collection. Discover the campaign at the link in bio.”
Initially, the photos received mostly positive feedback. The creative direction of the shoot was explained on the fashion house’s website.
The brand explained:
“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. 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.”
However, as soon as the photos were posted online, people began to complain that the photo shoot, particularly the photos of Styles holding the child-size mattress, reminded them of the recent child pornography scandal in which Balenciaga was involved.
Netizens thought the shoot was “not a good look” for Harry Styles as an adult.
A user asked:
“Why are all fashion brand ad makers sick creeps?”
Another pointed out:
“But honestly. @Harry_Styles what’s fashionable about anything here? Your shades? The twin sized mattress is weird AF. What does it imply? Why’s it there? A kids mattress and you’re wearing a pink teddy bear… why are actors so desperately clueless.”
“I’m ok w the shirt. HA HA HA the brand was a collaboration between (H)arry & (A)llesandro Michele. Hopefully, it doesn’t have an ulterior motive than what they say, but the mattress, really? a child’s mattress. If Harry is smart, he will run as far away from that as possible.”
Meanwhile, other users appeared to have identified a link between Gucci and Balenciaga, thereby connecting the two seemingly problematic campaigns.
A user revealed:
“Gucci are under the same umbrella company as Balenciaga. They are owned by Salma Hayecks husband Francois henri Pinault (Kering Group). His father was in Kingdom of Dreams about fashion houses. He took over Gucci and forced Tom Ford out.”
As of this writing, neither Gucci nor Harry Styles had responded to the growing controversy.