LONDON — Hedi Slimane’s penchant for super-skinny models has gotten him into hot water with the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority.
Saint Laurent, where Slimane is creative director, is the latest luxury fashion label to have one of its advertising campaign images banned by the ASA. In a decision to be published Wednesday in London, the ASA upheld a single complaint that an image from Saint Laurent’s spring 2015 campaign was irresponsible, on the grounds that the model in it “appeared unhealthily underweight.”
The ad in question, which ran in British Elle, pictures model Kiki Willems lying on the floor with her eyes closed, wearing a halter-neck mini dress and a fitted leather blazer, paired with sheer tights and platform sandals. Slimane shot the image himself.
The ASA commented that Willems’ pose, together with the image’s lighting, meant her “rib cage was visible and appeared prominent,” and that “her thighs and knees appeared a similar width, which looked very thin.”
“We therefore considered that the model appeared unhealthily underweight in the image and concluded that the ad was irresponsible,” the ASA said.
According to the ruling, Saint Laurent said they did not agree with the view that the model was unhealthily thin, but the firm did not provide a detailed response. A spokeswoman for the label declined to comment on the decision Tuesday.
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in the U.K. in its current form, and told Saint Laurent “to ensure that the images in their ads were prepared responsibly.”
Earlier this month, the ASA banned a Miu Miu ad that featured Mia Goth on the grounds that it could appear to present a child in a sexualized way, and in the past the organization has taken action over ads by American Apparel, Harvey Nichols and Marc Jacobs’ Oh Lola fragrance.