Weeks After Balenciaga Scandal, Harry Styles Teams Up with Gucci Using Kids’ Mattress and Teddy Bear Shirt

Another high-fashion photo shoot — this time by luxury label Gucci — is making headlines for featuring references to children that left some viewers uneasy. Last week, Gucci posted a series of photos on Instagram and Twitter of English entertainer Harry Styles wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a scowling pink teddy bear and posing with what appears to be a mattress. According to the New York Post, Styles’ teddy-bear shirt bore the slogan, “I want more berries and that summer feeling,” which is a line from the singer’s 2019 recording, “Watermelon Sugar.” The campaign comes just weeks after an international uproar over two Balenciaga fashion shoots that also struck many as containing inappropriate references to children. One of the Balenciaga campaigns pictured toddlers clutching bondage-themed teddy bears. Another showed the luxury label’s high-priced handbags posed adjacent to a printout of a Supreme Court case dealing with child pornography. Balenciaga apologized for the campaigns and even filed a $25 million lawsuit against the producers of one of the ads, but the suit was dropped a week later, the Post reported. After those ad campaigns were released, many called for a boycott of Balenciaga, which is owned by Kering, the same parent company as Gucci. Similarly, the new Gucci campaign has been poorly received. “Is this an ad for kids mattresses?” one Instagram user commented. “If not … why is a kids mattress included with a man in a fashion ad … what are you trying to normalise.” Another Instagram reader asked, “What was the creative thinking behind including a toddler bed? What’s the narrative? Who’s idea was this and where did they find this inspo? I’m disturbed.” Another simply commented, “Leave our kids alone!” Some of the Instagram comments were addressed directly to Styles, including one that advised, “Not a good look @Harry_Styles Is that a child’s mattress in the background while you’re wearing a pink teddy bear shirt … as a grown man,” one pointed out. “[T]ime to stop supporting Harry styles now,” another said. Others directed their ire at the Gucci brand. “Time to throw away the Gucci items I own. Bye Bye Gucci!” one Instagram comment read. A Twitter user remarked, “That single white mattress is giving pedo vibes, and I think you should have better judgement after the Balenciaga meltdown.” Another Twitter user called for Twitter CEO Elon Musk to “please remove these groomers from your platform.” “THIS IS NOT OK,” another Instagram user complained. ; Some commenters spoke up in Gucci’s defense. “Looks like a couch cushion to me,” one person wrote on Instagram. “People just want to take nothing & make it into horribleness.” Another Instagram defender proclaimed, “These comments are nonsense…it took me 5 seconds to look up the video campaign and you can clearly see he moves ALL types of furniture into the scene including, a couch, chairs, house plants, not just this one mattress.” The series of photos posted to Twitter and Instagram, however, only show Styles carrying the mattress or posing near it, in an otherwise bare room. The Post reported that Gucci has made several subsequent Instagram posts “but has not addressed Styles’ photos. He hasn’t, either.” Gucci described the shoot as “[a] performance piece starring Harry Styles and the Gucci HA HA HA collection.” Judging by the social media comments, few people are laughing. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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