Giorgio Armani triggers both praise and outrage after talk about how women are ‘raped by designers’

(The Business of Fashion video screenshot)

Billionaire Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani triggered both the world’s praise and wrath last week by calling out the provocative, hypersexual content that pervades much of the contemporary fashion industry.

There is so much talk about women being raped, but women today are regularly raped by designers,” he reportedly said while speaking with reporters last Friday following an Emporio Armani show.

I am thinking of certain ads where women are shown in a provocative way, half-naked, and many women feel pressured into looking like that. That for me is rape. It’s unbefitting. Look around, they think that by wearing black leggings and a bomber they become modern. Excuse my outburst and the strong words, but I felt like I had to say this.”

But his remarks didn’t end there.

“I think it’s time for me to say what I think. Women keep getting raped by designers,” he reportedly continued. “If a lady walks on the street and sees an ad with a woman with her boobs and [butt] in plain sight and she wants to be like that too, that’s a way of raping her. 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.”

He also pushed back on any potential future criticism, saying, “In my show there are short skirts, long skirts, ample and tight trousers. I have given maximum freedom to women who can use all possibilities if they are sensible.”

As noted earlier, the remarks triggered both praise and outrage.

Over at RT, “journalist” and commentator Helen Buyniski blasted Armani for his alleged hypocrisy.

“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,” she wrote.

“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.”

As an example, she cited the very same Emporio Armani show he’d hosted Friday:

“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,” Buyniski continued.

“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.”

Other critics slammed him for his use of the word rape.

Look (*Language warning):

For all the critics, though, there appeared to be an equal number of supporters who expressed agreement with Armani’s complaints about the industry.

Look:

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Vivek Saxena

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