Jeremy Scott’s fall 2018 Moschino campaign received the boot faster than Anthony Scaramucci at the White House.
Scott, Moschino’s creative director, introduced the Italian fashion house’s latest campaign via Instagram on Monday with an image of Gigi Hadid and a since-edited caption about, well, aliens. And the backlash was swift.
In his original caption, Scott wrote: “The only thing illegal about this alien is how good she looks”—words that prompted some critics to call him out for being negligent and ignorant of the harmful way the U.S. is treating migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border following President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. (As you may recall young children were being separated from their parents and held in detention centers.) The Supreme Court’s permanent Muslim ban doesn’t help Scott’s case, but in his defense, that ruling wasn’t delivered until Tuesday morning.
Anyway, it’s a complicated campaign and it’s easy to see how the “illegal alien” message—delivered via models like Kaia Gerber and Soojoo Park, each sporting out-of-this-world skin tones—got convoluted.
One follower (@zestylemur), wasn’t having it with Scott, and asked him to reconsider his message. Even after the designer edited his caption to remove “illegal”, they refused to let the matter drop.
“Changing the caption doesn’t change the fact that this whole campaign just brings you profit,” they wrote. “You want to start a discussion? Stop painting the same models blue and calling it revolutionary. Actually change the fashion game by hiring models that need to be represented.”
They continued, “Get out in the street and do something worthwhile. Until then, you’re just another white man making money off the suffering of real people.” Twenty-six people liked the response as of Tuesday afternoon; others replied with their agreement.
To that, Scott fired back, “The ENTIRE CONCEPT OF MY AD CAMPAIGN WAS TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE US ADMINISTRATION’S HARSH STANCE TOWARDS ‘[ILLEGAL] ALIENS.” He also explained that, to him, the campaign was a way to send the message that immigrants are “our friends, neighbours, co workers, relatives and people we love.”
The sentiment, it appears, didn’t seem to land with all fans—but hey, it did get us talking about the term “aliens.” Our President has used the word to describe migrants (he has also used terminology which likens them to animals), which many agree has a dehumanizing effect on people seeking a new life in a new country.
“I’m not anti-alien,” he told Vogue following his fall 2018 show, in which the same models walked painted down the runway. He added the anti-Trump sentiment, “I don’t want to build a wall.”
Unfortunately for Scott, it looks like the new campaign has put up a wall between the designer and a handful of his followers.