- In the ads for the designer’s Fall/Winter 2016 campaign, both Gigi and Karlie are cast as family matriarchs
- Each has children of an age that would have meant they were teenagers when they gave birth
- Commenters are also accusing the designer of racism, since the little girl cast as Gigi’s biracial daughter is wearing a chain on her stroller
- Some are saying the chain touches to closely to the US’s history of slavery
The fashion industry frequently comes under fire for its obsession with youth and a penchant for casting young teens in fashion shows. But while Versace’s latest campaign spotlights supermodels who are, at least, out of high school, the designer is still catching some flack for placing them in age-inappropriate roes.
In the new Fall/Winter 2016, 21-year-old Gigi Hadid and 23-year-old Karlie Kloss both play mothers, each with two children old enough to have made them teen moms.
And while some people are calling out the designer for the strange casting, others are taking issue with another aspect of the ads, charging that a chain wrapped around a baby’s stroller is racist.
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Controversial: Versace has come under fire for its new campaign, which sees Gigi Hadid, 21, playing a mom
Age ain’t just a number: Karlie Kloss, who is just 23, also plays a mom to two young children; she wouldn’t been a teenager while giving birth
‘The campaign stars Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Dilone in a series of tableaux, some real-life and some fantastical,’ the brand explained on Instagram. ‘The combination perfectly illustrates the relevance and wearability of modern #Versace for all parts of one’s life, from the ultra-glamourous to the everyday.’
In one of the newly-released images, shot by famed photographer Bruce Weber, Gigi is seen walking down the street with a man who is presumed to be her husband.
The couple is also walking with two children — a little boy, who appears to be about four or five, holds Gigi’s hand, while a little girl, who looks to be two or three, sits in a stroller.
At just 21, Gigi would have to have been a teenager when she gave birth to have had the two children.
Gigi and designer Donatella Versace can be seen cuddling up to Gigi’s make-believe daughter in this behind-the-scenes snap
Strange casting: Some have called the campaign ‘Teen Mom: Versace Edition’
Though Karlie is 23, she, too, likely wouldn’t been a teen when she started her faux-family in the ad. She also poses with a husband figure and two young children, who could be old enough to start kindergarten.
Some have joked that the ads aren’t for a clothing like at all, but a new TV show called ‘Teen Mom: Versace Edition’.
And while a few have suggested that the campaign glorifies teen motherhood, others seem to think it’s more just insulting to real moms, who tend to be older with kids that age.
Yahoo even pointed out that the average age women gave birth to their first child in the US in 2014 was just under 26 — meaning neither of these ads comes even close to presenting the average reality.
ICalled the babysitter: In some images, it seems Karlie has ditched the kids for a day off
Big issue: Several people have also called out the strange choice to wrap a chain around a baby stroller
Several people are calling the move ‘racist’ and questioning why a chain would need to be around a baby
The comments have gotten quite heated, though some people have accused critics of making a mountain out of a mole hill
Unfortunately, though, the age issue isn’t the biggest one brewing around these adds. Though a version on Versace’s Instagram has been liked 47,000 times, many of the comments are quite angry, accusing the brand of being intentionally or unintentionally racist.
That’s because the little girl sitting in the stroller in Gigi’s ad isn’t just fastened in with a traditional seat belt, but a chain, which many commenters are likening to the bonds that were used during times of slavery.
‘Chain is a bit unnecessary,’ reads one of the tamer critiques. ‘Disappointed in this campaign.’
While the chain was likely meant to look like an edgy accessory to complement the family’s leather jackets, unhappy followers have pointed out that the brand showed a lack of sensitivity by not realizing it would resonate as a symbol of slavery.
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