If you’re not actively involved in the fashion or modeling industry, you may hold a conception of the commonplace high fashion model that is similar to mine: stick-thin, snooty girls who party hard on the weekends and either suffer from some form of eating disorder or unhealthy drug addiction to keep their weight down.
Of course this is only a stereotype based upon a few bad examples (namely Kate Moss), but us regular girls cannot be entirely blamed for these misconceptions.
Take clothing store Sisley’s new ad campaign into account. Two models are pictured snorting lines of cocaine near the straps of a Sisley dress. They look strung out, with their eyes rolled to the back of their heads in thick black eyeliner and tight party dresses.
While Sisley’s message is (somewhat?) clear, the photo in question ignites other underlying themes besides the fact that Sisley’s clothes are addicting.
Not to be a prude, but isn’t this ad inadvertently promoting the use of cocaine? Everyone knows that coke is the rich kid’s drug, popularized by celebs and used in suburbs and cities alike by kids who have nothing better to blow (no pun intended) their money on.
Here, Sisley is acknowledging the rampant use of cocaine by people who have enough money to afford their clothes, associating it with fashion. Much like cigarette ads of the past featuring fashionably clad models, Sisley is somehow acquainting cocaine with style.
With celebrities like Lindsay Lohan already advertising for the drug, does it really need any more exposure?
Although I commend Sisley’s ad campaign for thinking outside of the box, they should be prepared to deal with a whole load of controversy that will soon be coming their way.
There is a Sisley store in the building where I work in NYC, which is frequented by many wealthy middle-aged and elderly people looking for somewhere to drop their cash. Judging by their disapproval of fashion offered at the new Bebe store nearby, I doubt they’ll be thrilled about two girls plastered on a huge billboard snorting cocaine. While their demographic is completely insignificant to the marketers at Sisley, these are the people who are purchasing clothes for their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. Never mind the fact that this Sisley happens to be in a building where regulars include famous politicians and activists.
Oh yeah, Sisley is going to get some heat for this one.