Ralph Lauren - Filippa Hamilton case

So you've probably heard about the ridiculously photoshopped pictures for Ralph Lauren brand. If you have hard time following-up, here is a short review and at the same a little guidebook on how not to do PR:
  • Everything started with a note at the Photoshop Disasters blog. The authors of the blog very accuretly stated, that the head of the model in the picture below is bigger than her pelvis. This post was later on linked and quoted on boingboing.net.

  • The second website received a letter from Ralph Lauren, who probably have never heard of the Streisand effect.

    "This is classic fair use: a reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting," etc. However, Ralph Lauren's marketing arm and its law firm don't see it that way. According to them, this is an "infringing image," and they thoughtfully took the time to send a DMCA takedown notice to our awesome ISP, Canada's Priority Colo. One of the things that makes Priority Colo so awesome is that they don't automatically act on DMCA takedowns. Instead, they pass them on to us and we talk about whether they pass the giggle-test."

  • Probably Photoshop Disasters received a similar threat as they put down the note.
  • When the message had already spread around the internet, the company finally published the following statement (please note, that there's nothing on threatening the websites):

    "For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity… we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body."

  • The model from the picture, Swedish-French 23-year-old Filippa Hamilton was fired even before the story due to "her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us", which meant, that she couldn't fit in their clothes anymore. At least that's what she says now and that's what is considered to be the truth to the public. The story came out after the photoshop controversies.

    Filippa and her normal size.

  • Photoshop Disasters have posted another picture of a starving looking model - also made for Ralph Lauren brand. This time the girls's name is Valentina Zelyaeva.

    Valentina for Ralph Lauren...

  • ...and in reality

  • The internet is on fire and I really don't envy the Ralph Lauren PR guys. Anyway, if you'd like to take part in the discussion, I recommend those two texts: Yes, Thin's In -- But Why Is That A Surprise? by Robin Givhan from the Washington Post, stating basically that the models are so skinny, because the society gets so fat and that modern fashion redefines beauty, and Would You Buy an Overweight Barbie? by Irene Rubaum-Keller from the Huffington Post, who points out, that supper skinny models are attractive only for gay men (who are the majority of the designers).*
*I've even found a forum post saying, that skinny models look more like young men (no breasts, no butt, no curves) and that's why gay designers/stylists prefer to work with them. I know that's a very radical statement, but - honestly - I'd like to see some psychological research on that. That could be really interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Widziałam już wcześniej to zdjęcie,ale po przeczytaniu całego posta zmroziło mnie.
    Dziwie się, że znany dom mody nie obawia się ostrej krytyki w momencie, gdy prawie cały świat walczy z anoreksją, przede wszystkim w modzie.
    Żal mi Filippy, ale myślę ze lepiej dla niej zostać zwolnioną niż otrzymać ultimatum "utrzymasz kontrakt jeśli schudniesz tyle a tyle". Kto wie jak mogłoby się to skończyć.
    Bardzo to wszystko smutne i groteskowe, bo przecież modelki same w sobie są bardzo szczupłe.