Tuesday, March 09, 2010


What is a fashion advertisement? It is a means of creating unique promotions for the fashion industry. It includes advertisements for garments, purses, shoes, and high end perfumes. The goal of a fashion advertisement is to connect potential customers with the brand. Advertisements promote a lifestyle just as much as the product. Fashion advertisement is heavily linked with sexuality.

Controversial advertisements have always been part of the fashion industry. Always pushing the boundaries to see how far they can take it. Advertisements come in many forms and can be found: in magazines, on billboards, on the internet and on television. Controversial ads show up frequently in top magazines like Vouge, Vanity Fair, and Women`s Wear Daily. Some may argue that the ads are eye catching and that sex sells. On the other hand some may find it shocking and offensive. Sex and advertisements in the fashion industry seem to go hand in hand to give that ``head turning`` effect the industry is now relying on. Ads have been considered controversial for having displayed or suggested violence, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, anorexia, and nudity. Not everyone in the fashion industry uses sex to sell their clothes but it does seem to pop-up frequently. Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Tom Ford for Men, and American apparel have all been known for their controversial advertisements. Dolce & Gabbana`s advertisement was so controversial it was banned in Italy, featuring a woman surrounded by men in a compromising position. Gucci and Tom Ford for Men also seem to use the same type of advertisement style as Dolce & Gabbana. The ads are very sexual and memorable. They want to make sure their readers are remembering them whether it is for their clothes or their ad. It is very ironic that designers very often use nudity to promote their clothing. They try and produce advertisements people will talk about whether it is good or bad, as long as people are talking they see it as a positive for their brand. American Apparel, a popular brand for many youth, found they were in a bit of trouble when it seemed they were advertising young youth in inappropriate and exposing advertisements. They stopped using an ad where there was a female, who was inappropriately exposing herself in the advertisement where the readers where finding it offensive. They defiantly have received a lot of heat for their over their top sexy advertisement and now that is viewed as their image and it works in their favour as a company. As being seen as a sexy company, they are not going to please everyone in their advertisement campaigns. They have their target base and their sexy image is what works best for them.

It is important to have these controversial ads to keep people talking. Without them no one would be pushing the boundaries and the advertisement business would start to go dry. However there are ways to make it more tasteful. No advertisement should be so controversial that it should be banned. Photographers need to find that happy medium where they can create something new, eye catching, and sexy; without offending an entire nation. Whether or not people love them or hate them without the advertisements, magazine publishers wouldn’t be able to create great and successful magazines. Advertisements are vital to the fashion magazine industry and as long as there are magazines, controversial advertisements will follow.

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