Brooke Shields for Calvin Klein 1980
Photographed by Richard Avedon, Brooke Shields poses for a 1980 Calvin Klein ad campaign. Courtesy of Instagram user brookeshields

Elsa Schiaparelli once said, "In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous," and that rings especially true right now as it's seems as if each day brings another fashion scandal. Take for example HBO's recent exposé on what really goes on behind the scenes of the once-mega successful fast-fashion brand Brandy Melville. With the fashion industry still reeling from the documentary which unveiled the brand's toxic work environment, racist culture, and environmental impact, comes the news that a celebrity handbag designer had been thrown in jail. Nancy Gonzalez, whose clients include Britney Spears and the cast of "Sex and the City" will serve 18 months behind bars for smuggling crocodile handbags into the US from her native Colombia. Furthermore, on Earth Day Gen Z students clad in robes and towels and holding signs that said "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Shein" protested in front of the controversial Chinese brand's LA distribution site to cast the global spotlight on its exploration of workers and ethical transgressions.

Given all these recent happenings, we are a little scandal-obsessed. Ahead, take a scroll down memory lane to revisit some of the best fashion scandals in history. Pass the popcorn.

Brandy Melville, 2024

Earlier this month, HBO released a documentary uncovering the ugly truths regarding popular retailer Brandy Melville, from toxic and racist work culture to the danger of the planet caused by fast fashion.

Kayne West, 2024

Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Kim Kardashians, 57th Grammy Awards
Taylor Swift reignited her feud with Kim Kardashian in The Tortured Poets Department Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

The rapper-turned-designer always asserts himself into the center of the latest scandal whether it's the Kim Kardashian Taylor Swift feud or parading his naked wife Bianca Censori around with vulgar remarks, or getting sued for $250 million by Adidas. Lest we forget the "White Lives Matter" shirt he wore during Paris Fashion Week that challenged the alleged financial misconduct performed by Black Lives Matter nonprofit leaders.

Chiara Ferragni, 2023

Chiara Ferragni
Chiara Ferragni attends the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards 2023 during Milan Fashion Week. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images) Courtesy of Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

The well-known social media influencer faced a fine of more than $1 million after an Italian watchdog Autorita' Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato discovered that she misled consumers with a paid partnership that was supposed to benefit charity.

Zara, 2023

Zara has become a beacon of controversy for their outlandish marketing campaigns prompting a rise in trending hashtags like #BoycottZara. Most recently, the company released then quickly pulled "The Jacket" campaign from its home page after receiving backlash for its content that featured images of mannequins wrapped in white cloth, directly reminiscent of scenes from the current Israel-Hamas war. All for the sake of "creativity."

Balenciaga, 2022

Balenciaga Holiday Ad
A child poses with a bear in bondage gear in Balenciaga's 2022 Holiday campaign. Courtesy of Balenciaga

Balenciaga has become something of a repeat scandal offender, accused of everything from insensitivity to different ethnic groups to a lack of understanding of basic human decency. For the past two years, the Spanish fashion house was deemed "canceled" after a slew of distasteful campaigns. Most famously their 2022 "Gift Collection" where young children posed with stuffed bears that were wearing BDSM-style harnesses, along with "office" themed ads that depicted papers scattered on a desk, referencing a Supreme Court case on child porn.

Alexander Wang, 2020

Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang attends the Bvlgari B.zero1 Rock collection event at Duggal Greenhouse. Courtesy of Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Alexander Wang has kept a relatively low profile since being accused of sexual misconduct and amid growing cries for him to be cancelled. British model Owen Mooney even came forth revealing that the designer allegedly grabbed his crotch at an event in 2017.

Anna Wintour, 2020

Anna Wintour
Anna Wintour sits front row at the Loewe Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show during Paris Fashion Week. Courtesy of Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Loewe

The 2020 racial reckonings exposed many things in the world, including the racist work environment fostered by Anna Wintour during her longtime reign at Condé Nast and Vogue. Several former Black employees advocated for her to resign, as well as recalling instances where the editor-in-chief dismissed cultural appropriation as "no big deal."

Gucci, 2019

Gucci Blackface
A model poses in a Gucci sweater that resembles blackface. Courtesy of Gucci

Another lover of controversy, Gucci released a 2019 collection that directly insulted the Black community with models wearing Blackface garments and accessories. "Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper," the company said in a statement shortly after. "We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make."

Moschino v. Edda Gimnes, 2018

Kaia Gerber in Moschino Show
Kaia Gerber struts down the Moschino runway during their women's spring/summer 2019 show. Courtesy of Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

Plagiarism is no strange concept in fashion, and Moschino showed no shame in carrying out the act. After their spring/summer 2019 show, Instagram fashion authority Diet Prada quickly called out the brand for an ensemble's obvious similarity to the prints in Norwegian designer Edda Gimnes' spring/summer 2017 collection. "Seeing the Moschino show yesterday makes me so sad and I feel so hurt that someone has, the way it looks to me, unquestionably used my SS16 and SS17 collections as inspiration without granting me any credit," Gimnes wrote in a post.

Marc Jacobs, 2016

Gigi Hadid during Marc Jacobs
Gigi Hadid walks during the Marc Jacobs New York Fashion Week presentation in 2016. Courtesy of Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Marc Jacobs came under fire for his bold display of cultural appropriation during New York Fashion Week 2016. Non-Black models including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Kloss were seen wearing multicolored faux dreadlocks apparently inspired by 1980s rave culture. After receiving criticism, Jacobs refused to issue an apology, standing on the belief that he did nothing wrong.

John Galliano, 2011

John Galliano
John Galliano attends the 2017 Vogue Forces of Fashion conference. Courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

John Galliano is often referenced for his iconic tenure at Dior, but his widespread popularity ended when a video surfaced of the drunk designer on an antisemitic tirade in a bar in Paris.

Naomi Campbell, 2010

Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell commands the Dolce&Gabbana runway during Milan Fashion Week 2023. Courtesy of Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

She might be one of the most legendary supermodels but Naomi Campbell has had her fair share of legendary controversy throughout the years, from abusing assistants and workers to spitting at airline workers on a British Airways flight in 2007.

Kate Moss, 2005

Kate Moss
Kate Moss attends the 2023 Fashion Awards in London. Courtesy of Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Like others in the limelight, Kate Moss has endured struggles of her own including a cocaine addiction. After the Daily Mirror ran front-page photos of the model in action, she ended up losing icon contracts from Burberry, Chanel, and H&M reportedly totaling close to $4 million.

Princess Diana, 1994

The late Princess Diana was a source of style inspiration during her life and almost three decades after her tragic death, this infamous sartorial moment lives on. Fresh from her separation from King Charles, the princess wore a sexy LBD to a gala in London in 1994, and the revenge dress had arrived. Designed by Christina Stambolian, there was no missing her or her incredible body in the slinky black off-the-shoulder number with its asymmetrical hemline, and chiffon train.

Calvin Klein, 1980

Brooke Shields for Calvin Klein 1980
Photographed by Richard Avedon, Brooke Shields poses for a 1980 Calvin Klein ad campaign. Courtesy of Instagram user brookeshields

At just 15 years old, Brooke Shields became the face of Calvin Klein, wearing the brand's classic blue jeans and uttering in a sultry voice, "You want to know what comes in between me and my Calvins? Nothing." Shot by famed fashion photographer photographer Richard Avedon, the 1980 campaign will go down as one of the most discussed and controversial ads of all time.

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