Gucci has been called out in the past for insensitive designs - so much so that it hired a Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - however the backlash usually happens once the show is over. Well, not this time. Model Ayesha Jones protested the straightjacket-inspired designs while walking in Gucci’s Milan show on Sunday and spoke out against the use of mental health issues as a fashion statement.
Models stood stone-faced on a conveyer belt while dressed in head-to-toe white – complete with buckles – and Ayesha took the opportunity to share her thoughts. She held up her hands to reveal “Mental health is not fashion” written on her palms, in a move that’s been confirmed by Gucci as an unplanned event.
Ayesha decided to take action as she has struggled with her own mental health in the past and felt as though the brand’s designs were insensitive and using the topic of mental health for fashion. Gucci, of course, defended the designs by saying “uniforms, utilitarian clothes, normative dress, including straightjackets, were included in the Gucci SS20 fashion show as the most extreme version of a uniform dictated by society and those who control it”, before continuing to justify its actions by declaring the clothes were just a statement for the fashion show and will not be sold.
While the internet is split, we’d say Ayesha’s statement was definitely louder than Gucci’s – and it least it didn’t offend anyone.