Donna Karan recently released images of her new ad campaign, shot by Russell James, much to the chagrin of critics and fashion enthusiasts.
The ads in question highlight the Spring 2012 collection, one in particular features super model Adriana Lima dressed in Donna Karan Ready-to-wear along with two other models; native Haitians, which should come as not surprise as the campaign was shot in Haiti. The controversy stands from the manner in which the Hatian models were dressed, in rags, as if they were meant to look as though they were found on the street.
Many see this as a wildly offensive gesture which, in essence, flaunts the wealth of America in the face of Haiti . Jezebel Jenna Sauers was quoted saying: “…he juxtaposition of luxury clothing — Donna Karan sells $2,000 dresses — and the poorest country in the Western hemisphere is troubling, and perhaps undercuts the message Karan thinks she’s sending.”
It is interesting to note that the Donna Karan collection is worn exclusively by non Haitian models, seemingly implying that the clothing is for non-Haitians.
Donna Karan insists that the ads are to bring light to the fact that people in Haiti are still struggling and by no means is it supposed to play off the fact that they are suffering or that they are the “perfect backdrop” to promote the collection and goes on to say that the collection itself was inspired by Hatian artist Philippe Dodard.
Though there is no aid that goes to Haiti directly from the sale of the collection, Donna Karan’s charity “Hope, Help & Rebuild Haiti” continues to raise awareness.
What do you see when you look at this ad? Callous and insensitive? Or a philanthropists attempt at helping those less fortunate? Please leave your comments below.