Balenciaga 2.0?? Harry Styles & Gucci Slammed For Ad Campaign Featuring ‘Toddler Mattress’ & Teddy Bear Shirt!

Just weeks after Balenciaga came under fire for its inappropriate BDSM teddy bear ad campaign, another high-end fashion brand is facing heat over a promotional image featuring Harry Styles!

Last week, Gucci shared some pictures – shot by photographer Mark Borthwick – on Instagram of the 28-year-old singer wearing a shirt with a pink teddy bear and a lyric from his popular track Watermelon Sugar on it, “I want more berries and that summer feeling.” He also could be seen posing with what appears to be a, well… child-sized mattress propped up against the wall behind him in one shot, and holding it under his arm in several others. Check it out (below):

See more in the video ad (below):

Related: Teresa Giudice ‘Had No Idea’ About Balenciaga Scandal When She Shared Sweater Pics

Gucci shared on its website that the campaign stemmed from Harry’s friendship with former creative director Alessandro Michele, adding:

“Play is at the very heart of the collection, which uses menswear as a tool of the avant-garde. Captured by Mark Borthwick, the series of images sees Harry Styles showcase the ‘dream wardrobe’ defined by the eccentric use of romantic accents, whimsical prints, vintage details, and the expressive emotionality of the individual.”

However, some social media users didn’t see the campaign images as eccentric so much as… off-putting in the wake of Balenciaga. They quickly stormed the comments section of the Instagram post to blast Gucci for the ad, writing:

“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.”

“A toddler mattress?? Are we serious?”

“Toddler mattress and grown man – What story are they selling?”

“But honestly. @Harry_Styles what’s fashionable about anything here? Your shades? The twin-sized mattress is weird AF. What does it imply? Why’s it there? A kids mattress and you’re wearing a pink teddy bear… why are actors so desperately clueless.”

“What in the Balenciaga is going on here? Wake up, people!”

“Who thought this was OK?”

“I’m sorry, but why include a toddler mattress? In what way is a toddler mattress relevant to the “art” piece? Apparently, Gucci hasn’t been caught up on the Balenciaga issue.”


Even Alexandra Gucci Zarini, whose great-grandfather was the founder of Gucci, called out the ad campaign! She wrote on Instagram:

“Why would you create a ‘performance piece’ with a toddler’s mattress and an adult man? My concerns are that there seems to be a common ideology across Kering’s Fashion Houses.”


She then added in a follow-up post:

“Gucci was created to be the most elegant brand with the highest quality product. The direction it seems to be taking now is concerning. The protection of children should always come first and not be laughed at.”

What she was referring to was the fact Gucci is owned by Kering — the same parent company that owns Balenciaga. And as you know, the brand was slammed last month for sexualizing children in ads that saw them holding teddy bear purses in BDSM gear. Then, another showed legal documents about a Supreme Court case involving child pornography. In response to the backlash, Balenciaga issued a lengthy statement about the matter, saying:

“We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”

Gucci, Kering, Harry, and Alessandro have not addressed the backlash from the campaign at this time. Clearly, the parent company has not learned its lesson from the Balenciaga controversy or worked to make sure its brands are being less controversial moving forward. What are your thoughts on the matter, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments below!

[Image via Gucci/YouTube, MEGA/WENN]

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