Gucci Under Fire With Balenciaga Controversy Comparisons for Ad With Harry Styles, Teddy Bear & Mattress

Gucci is receiving backlash from social media users today for an ad campaign starring Harry Styles.

Last week, the brand continued to post photos of Styles on Instagram promoting Gucci’s HA HA HA campaign. In the ads, the singer can be seen posing with what appears to be a smaller-sized mattress as he is dressed in a teddy bear graphic tee and trousers.

Though the campaign was first introduced in November, Gucci is now facing criticism for the set props.

“A child mattress??? This is not okay,” one user posted today in the comment section under the Gucci Instagram post. “Why is a toddler bed in this? Why the Teddy bear shirt? What is the angle? Aside from strange?” said another.

In the full campaign, Styles can also be seen posing with other furniture, including chairs and a sofa.

“Play, friendship, passion, a tale of vanity set free, a shared vision of a men’s world as an instrument of the avant-garde for the renewal of culture, the practical and everyday use of a ‘dream wardrobe,'” was the inspiration behind the ads, according to Gucci’s original press release.

This controversy comes just weeks after Balenciaga’s embroilment that involved children.

Last month, a holiday campaign featuring images of kids holding the French label’s teddy bear bags dressed in what appeared to be leather bondage gear went viral. The visual caused an uproar among customers and on social media. Balenciaga creative director Demna came out with a personal statement apologizing for the ads, writing on Instagram: “I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility. It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.”

More users continue to speak out on the Gucci ads today, with comments such as “What in the balenciaga is this.” Both labels are under parent company Kering.
Though Gucci has not spoken out about the ads as of yet, the campaign came to fruition under creative director Alessandro Michele, who has since left the company. In November, Kering announced that the fashion designer, who has served as Gucci’s creative director since 2015, would be permanently leaving the brand.
FN has reached out for comment.

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