Fashion is meant to be an outlet for expression. But, from time to time, the most popular companies have come under fire for their designs — and sometimes even their words.
Affordable stores like Forever 21 and H&M, as well as high-end brands like Dolce & Gabbana, have both been slammed alike for fashion decisions deemed inappropriate by critics.
In 2011, for example, Forever 21 sold a shirt that read “Allergic to Algebra,” promoting a negative message to young girls about education. A year prior, American Apparel printed a women’s T-shirt that read “Eat Less,” which some considered harmful to those with body issues.
Other stores like Victoria’s Secret and American Apparel faced similar situations for ads that appeared insensitive or way too risqué.
And, in other instances, industry moguls like Kenneth Cole himself and the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch found themselves trying to defend their controversial statements.
Check out 12 memorable fashion world scandals below, and make sure to SHARE this story with all the fashion lovers you know!
1. Calvin Klein
I’m sure the Beliebers were happy to see their favorite pop star posing for Calvin Klein. Yet, others were angry, claiming Justin Bieber’s abs were heavily Photoshopped for the ad.
For years, the athletic footwear and apparel company was bashed for reported abuse and unfair wages in its international factories. In the early 2000s, the company began factory audits and then released a report that admitted to glitches. Nike has been sharing this information ever since.
3. Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t really accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. According to the company’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, that decision is intentional. In 2006, he caused an uproar when he told Salon: “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive, all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
4. Victoria’s Secret
After angering many, the lingerie company quietly changed an ad campaign in 2014 from “The Perfect ‘Body’ ” to “A Body for Every Body.”
If you thought these were pretty bad, the ones on the next page will shock you a little more!