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21 Feb, 2020 17:13

Armani piggybacks on #MeToo by likening sexy ads & fashion trends to RAPE… but that’s never stopped him from embracing them

Armani piggybacks on #MeToo by likening sexy ads & fashion trends to RAPE… but that’s never stopped him from embracing them

Fashion designer Giorgio Armani has denounced sexually provocative fashion trends and advertisements as a form of rape – even though these same trends brought him superstardom a generation ago.

Armani slammed stylists and designers for “raping” women by subjecting them to the trends of the day in comments to reporters during Milan Fashion Week on Friday.

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If a lady walks on the street and sees an ad with a woman with her boobs and arse in plain sight and she wants to be like that too, that’s a way of raping her,” the designer told reporters.

You can rape a woman in many ways, either by throwing her in the basement or by suggesting that she dresses in a certain way.

His comments might sound more genuine coming from someone who hasn’t spent a lifetime dressing women in some of the same revealing outfits he’s suddenly decided constitute a form of sexual assault. While the Armani label is better known for more conservative designs, the 85-year-old designer is no stranger to using sex to sell clothes, and his runway shows flash the flesh as much as any other.

Armani’s pearl-clutching about sexualized advertising is particularly rich coming from the man who stopped traffic over a decade ago with giant billboards featuring footballer David Beckham and his wife oiled up and posing provocatively in their underwear. And the stylists he casts in the role of rapists? He invented those too, at least according to a Vanity Fair profile from last year.

If Armani were expressing guilt for his starring role in the hitherto-unrecognized sexual assault he claims is playing out on the streets at the hands of predatory designers and stylists, his comments would still be a tone-deaf dismissal of real-life sexual assault victims – but they would at least be understandable in the out-of-touch language of aging billionaires.

He has set himself apart from other designers, however, insisting to reporters: “I’m sick of hearing the word ‘trend.’ We need to try to work for today’s woman. There shouldn’t be trends.

Far from empathizing with women pushed into a role they don’t want to play by fashion’s predators, Armani seems to be merely capitalizing on the predominance of rape in the news cycle, from Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo to Jeffrey Epstein luring in his young prey with promises of Victoria’s Secret modeling gigs. Even Roman Polanski’s age-old indiscretions have resurfaced to grab the headlines. Reducing rape to just another trend is the ultimate misogynistic fashion statement.

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But then, few fashion designers have seen fit to offer women much beyond flattery and phony empowerment, presenting them with an idealized image of femininity in exchange for eye-popping sums of money - an image that must be renewed every season before it (or worse, she) starts to grow old.

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