Fame infamy

Sex sells. Have I got your attention now? Good.
It’s no secret that sexuality has always had some kind of commercial value within the advertising industry. One would assume that the immaculate kingdom of haute couture would be safe from this taboo disposition, but it appears that even the most praiseworthy designers of our world have been influenced by the basic instincts of the flesh. Why? Is it an arguably effective marketing strategy? What is it with the obsession of artists with irreverent muses?

Karl & Zahia (photo courtesy of parischerie.com)

Karl & Zahia
(photo courtesy of parischerie.com)

I’m thinking of Anthony Vaccarello, whose first major collection was inspired by the porn star La Cicciolina. I’m thinking of Karl Lagerfeld, with his protégée and escort-girl Zahia Dehar. I’m thinking of Jean-Paul Gaultier, who let the plastic bimbo and reality-TV star Nabilla Benattia catwalk during his AW14 fashion show.

Jean-Paul & Nabilla (photo courtesy of tuxedo.com)

Jean-Paul & Nabilla
(photo courtesy of tuxedo.com)

Perhaps these women bring a youthful and contemporary touch to these classic and long-lived brands. These 21st century pin-ups are undeniably scandalous and are ostensible accessories to a bigger scheme of buzz marketing.
Can we blame the designers, though? Fashion cannot be passive. It has to react to current trends and prevailing cultural performances. The question now is: where is the line between luxury and tastelessness?

Olivia Kutxi