Controversial Fashion Adverts

Dazed Digital, Calvin Klein, campaign, Steven Meisel

This advert for Calvin Klein received lots of backlash in 1995 for this image series. It was due to the youthful appearance of their models in sexually provocative poses showing lots of skin. They were also in a wood panelled basement(Dazed, 2017) giving you the idea that they’ve been locked in there by a pervert. The aim is to sell their denim range  to presumably young fashionable adults showing attractive models makes the wearer feel that they too will look like Kate Moss if they bought a pair of Calvin Klein’s Jeans. Personally for my being a young adult I do not find these images shocking, I do find them quite provocative but I can understand how someone older could find these images are too sexually-charged as a lot of the models have open legs, not wearing bras and showing their underwear/chests.  They have used a range of marketing techniques such as celebrity endorsement which makes someone who for example idolises Kate Moss will want to purchase the jeans to be like her.Another technique used is to create a series of images with different models and garments but in the same setting which is versatile I feel this would be more successfully if the images were individual images rather than cubed together. It would look more eye catching if they had the most successful photographs lined up next to one another than that have a square with lots of images as it’s too busy. They have also used a ladder as a prop I think this is due to them being in a basement and mixed with the denim it gives me a workmen vibe. However I feel it is unsuccessful because it’s hard to understand the concept of them putting a ladder there not sure if its to promote their clothes to the working class.

Dazed Digital, United Colours of Benetton campaign, advert

The aim of this campaign is to show awareness of domestic violence I think the ad is successfully but it would be more successful to show both a male and female as both genders can/have experiences domestic violence. United Colours of Benetton have used play on words to remind consumers who the brand is to be able to identify them, but also gave them a clear informative message.  This message promotes emotion as it makes you sympathetic for sufferers and victims of domestic abuse it also shows people who are suffering that it is wrong. Marketing techniques used are the scars and bruises to show the “Colours of Domestic Violence”. I think this ad targets women who are going through abuse or people who may notice others who have signs of abuse. Although there are various types of abuse this ad targets the physical kind as it is making an association with the colours of the bruises and scares sufferers receive.


Dazed Digital, Gucci, Gender, campaign

The aim for this ad is to sell men’s suits presumably I feel this is because the male model seems to have control over the female model lying on his lap.It is  suggesting if you buy a suit by Gucci you will have control over gorgeous submissive  women which is oppressing. I think this ad is very controversial as it displays the type of inequality women have been fighting for generations and still do; as the rise of feminism have accelerated  more in the last few years with the help of Social media.  It is quite shocking and sad to still see women portrayed that they are the weaker sex in adverts. The brand is Gucci and the impact of the ad would be that people who buy Gucci or would like to would find them to be quite sexist rather than having an campaign without the women model or featuring a more positive relationship. She is just saw how a lot of women are seen as “arm candy” rather than her own person. The only customers whom would relate are men who like to be in control, look smart and want beautiful women; which they currently aren’t getting without their Gucci suit. The people who view this ad and don’t see the sexism in it would just see it more as playful, sexy and not really look into it. I believe Gucci like to sell a lifestyle as much as any luxury designer and the target audience is usually rich men or men who want to “have it all”.



Dazed. (2017). Controversial fashion ads. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Jan. 2017].

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