Today, in stunt casting: Diesel has an extremely provocative new campaign anchored by the slogan, I Am Not What I Appear To Be. In order to achieve the very sexy levels of provocation he was after, the brand’s equally-sexy-and-boundary-pushing new creative director Nichola Formichetti (above) cast “real people”/non-models and people from the internet (the realest people).
One of them happens to be wearing a niqab–but a denim one, for that extra rock’n roll grit:
Photos of the campaign are cropping up on social media, which features a veiled woman extending a tattooed arm beneath the garment, probably because tattoos are also sexy and edgy.
This comes hot on the heels of American Apparel‘s casting of an Hasidic Jewish model and–perhaps edgiest of all–Dior’s stunning decision to cast some black girls. Says Formichetti, ”I wanted to find people who reflected the diversity of the creative community today and not just the typical model.” His decision had nothing to do with generating controversy and media attention, he did not insist.
As for whether or not this is offensive, the fashion industry has been plundering religious iconography for decades now–it’s banal. See, for example, Formichetti’s BFF Lady Gaga‘s “Judas” video.
We don’t see why Formichetti went to all the trouble if he just wanted to offend people, though–unless he loves getting himself into trouble–when the brand could have just wheeled out their president Renzo Rosso to riff on all his cool feelings about ladies.