This Year's Most Heated Fashion Controversies Caused Major Online Drama
If last year's most controversial moments in fashion touched on body image and inclusivity, this year, the space became very political. Topics such as which designers would dress Melania Trump and brands speaking out against our administration were just the start of this unrest.
Magazines, especially Vogue, couldn't steer clear of controversy, as the publication was accused of cultural appropriation on numerous occasions. Kendall and Kylie Jenner came under fire again for their clothing line, and unexpected players like supermodel Karlie Kloss also found themselves embroiled in controversy. If you forgot all the heated debates that have happened so far, read on for a trip down memory lane. Warning: the news will probably send you into a tailspin . . . again.
Designers on Dressing Melania Trump
Key Players: Designers, Melania Trump
What Happened: As soon as Donald Trump won the presidency, designers were at odds on whether or not they would dress Melania Trump as first lady. The debate can be traced back to Sophie Theallet, who first wrote a letter to urge her fellow friends not to support or dress Melania. This discussion led to a back-and-forth between designers, with Tommy Hilfiger and Carolina Herrera submitting a "yes" to dressing the FLOTUS and Marc Jacobs a "no." Others fell somewhere in the middle.
After all that, for the inaugural events, Melania wore the likes of Hervé Pierre, Ralph Lauren, and Reem Acra. Melania's fashion continues to garner a love-hate controversy, especially when she wore this $51,000 coat by Dolce & Gabbana to an economic summit.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner's "Vintage Tees"
Key Players: Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, celebrities affected, the public
What Happened: The duo released a collection of "vintage t-shirts" that featured their photos and logos superimposed over the faces of musical icons such as Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. The tees immediately received backlash from the public, who denounced the designs as cultural appropriation and called them out for copyright infringement.
Soon after, Voletta Wallace (the mother of late rapper Notorious B.I.G.) voiced her disapproval, and celebrities like Sharon Osbourne stepped in to chide the girls for their actions. The shirts were eventually taken down from the site, and then weeks later, the sisters dropped new swimsuits.
Vogue's March 2017 Cover
Key Players: Ashley Graham and the models featured, Vogue
What Happened: For Vogue's March cover, the magazine featured a range of supermodels said to "democratize" fashion. The editorial spread included the likes of Adwoa Aboah, Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner.
The magazine's effort to appeal to diversity, however, backfired when it drew criticism for featuring only one plus-size model, Ashley, who coincidentally covered her thigh with her hand. Ashley responded on Instagram, writing, "I chose to pose like that . . . no one told me to do anything."
Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik's Vogue Cover
Key Players: Vogue, Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik
What Happened: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik graced the August cover of Vogue, and the editorial piece sparked outrage. Readers were upset that two celebrities in a straight relationship were made to represent the entire gender-fluid community.
In the interview, the couple admitted they wore each other's clothes, and the headline of the piece read "Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Part of a New Generation Embracing Gender Fluidity." We've all borrowed our SO's clothes before, but that can hardly be considered gender fluid.
Vogue released this statement in response to the criticism: "The story was intended to highlight the impact the gender-fluid, non-binary communities have had on fashion and culture. We are very sorry the story did not correctly reflect that spirit — we missed the mark. We do look forward to continuing the conversation with greater sensitivity."
Miley Cyrus's Feud With Dolce & Gabbana
Key Players: Miley Cyrus, Dolce & Gabbana
What Happened: After Miley Cyrus's little brother Braison walked in Dolce & Gabbana's Spring/Summer 2018 show in Milan, the star gave him a shout-out on her Instagram. In her last sentence, she voiced her disagreement with the designers' political views, writing, "PS D&G, I STRONGLY disagree with your politics.... but I do support your company's effort to celebrate young artists & give them the platform to shine their light for all to see!" While this might have seemed harmless, the designers responded with their own fiery comment.
They wrote, "We are Italian and we don't care about politics and mostly neither about the American one! We make dresses and if you think about doing politics with a post it's simply ignorant. We don't need your posts or comments so next time please ignore us!!" The duo behind the fashion house cannot resist politics completely, however, given their recent #boycottdolcegabbana tees. These shirts were an effort to mock their "haters" after people called them out for continuing to support Melania Trump.
Kendall Jenner's Vogue India Cover
Key Players: Vogue India, Kendall Jenner
What Happened: To celebrate Vogue India's 10th anniversary, editor Priya Tanna put Kendall Jenner on the cover, which was shot by famed photographer Mario Testino. As soon as the issue was released, it faced major backlash from readers who were shocked that an Indian model wasn't chosen for the special occasion. In response, the magazine wrote on Instagram that there was a series of special issues lined up and that Kendall's cover was just one of many.
Tiffany & Co.'s Response to President Trump Pulling Out of the Paris Climate Agreement
Key Players: Tiffany & Co., Donald Trump
What Happened: When it comes to climate change, Tiffany & Co. is at odds with President Trump. The brand wanted him to keep the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement (he later ended up pulling out of it), so it posted this message on its public Instagram account, thus clarifying the brand's political stance.
Karlie Kloss's "Yellowface" Vogue Photo Shoot
Key Players: Vogue, Karlie Kloss
What Happened: Karlie Kloss appeared in Vogue's March issue in an editorial called "Spirited Away," and the theme was centered on diversity. The model dressed in kimonos with geisha-inspired makeup and wigs shot at Ise-Shima National Park in Japan.
The photo shoot drew online criticism of cultural appropriation, and readers accused Vogue of "yellowface," which forced the publication to remove the photos from its website. Karlie later issued an apology on Twitter, saying, "I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive."
Melania's Heels For Her Visit to Texas
Key Players: Melania Trump
What Happened: President Trump and Melania went to Texas in Aug. 2017 to visit Hurricane Harvey victims. She wore a pair of heels that sparked outrage on Twitter. Users called her out for being insensitive by wearing such luxe shoes to see those who had just lost their homes and belongings in the flood. Weeks later, Manolo Blahnik defended Melania by saying she wasn't at all "insensitive."
Kendall Jenner's "Fashion Icon of the Decade" Award
Key Players: Kendall Jenner
What Happened: The model was awarded "Fashion Icon of the Decade" by The Daily Front Row, and social media users took issue with her age. (She was only 21 years old when she received the honor.) "Decade? 10 years? 10 years ago she was 10! How?" said one Twitter user.