Harry Styles With a Toddler Mattress in Gucci’s Ad Draws Criticism

This week, Kering, the parent company of the contentious luxury label Balenciaga, is dealing with another PR crisis due to anger over a commercial photo for Gucci, another one of the firm’s brands.

Styles appears in the Gucci advertisement, which debuted on Nov. 2, while posing next to a toddler-sized mattress while sporting a teddy bear T-shirt. Teddy bears were also at the core of the Balenciaga advertising controversy, which prompted many people to criticize or boycott the company for using disturbing images of children.


“Play is at the very heart of the Gucci HA HA HA collection…its name, after all, is the onomatopoeic sound of the written essence of the ‘laughing face’ emoji, as well as the serial crisis of the initials of ‘Harry’ and ‘Alessandro,'” the brand said in November when the campaign, which they called a “performance piece,” was released. “Starting from those small oddities that come together in childlike visions, it turns into a ‘dream wardrobe’ reflecting the two creative spirits behind the collection.”

“Captured by Mark Borthwick, the series of images see Harry Styles showcase the ‘dream wardrobe’ defined by the eccentric use of romantic accents, whimsical prints, vintage details, and the expressive emotionality of the individual,” the Gucci site concludes.

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Social media users, including Alexandra Gucci Zarini, whose great-grandfather founded Gucci, seized on the advertisement as another fashion faux pas.

“Why would you create a ‘performance piece’ with a toddler’s mattress and an adult man?” Zarini wrote on Instagram. “My concerns are that there seems to be a common ideology across Kering’s fashion houses.”

Harry Styles Gucci Ad
Harry Styles Gucci Ad

“A toddler mattress with a grown man and a teddy bear on his shirt… Symbolism will be their downfall,” another person commented.

Alessandro Michele, the former creative director of Gucci, came up with the idea for the ad. Gucci revealed in late November that Michele would leave his position after seven years.

But Twitter users said the photos are “not a good look” for Styles “as a grown man.”

“Why are all fashion brand ad makers sick creeps?” another person asked.

“A child’s mattress and a teddy bear shirt, nothing to see here unless you’re a perv,” another declared.

“But honestly. @Harry_Styles, what’s fashionable about anything here? Your shades? The twin-sized mattress is weird AF. What does it imply? Why’s it there? A kids mattress and you’re wearing a pink teddy bear… why are actors so desperately clueless,” another wrote.

Alessandro Michele, the campaign’s former creative director, oversaw its conception and filming in November.

Kering, a global luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, owns both Gucci and Balenciaga.

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Final Lines

The new Gucci commercial campaign, which features Harry Styles in a teddy bear T-shirt next to a toddler cot, has been widely panned.

A few weeks after its sibling brand Balenciaga caused a considerable commotion on social media over the child images incident, Gucci’s latest HA HA HA ad campaign has prompted a reaction.

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