US-based e-commerce giant Revolve has been slammed for offering an offensive slogan jumper designed by LPA without any context.
Fashion designer Pia Arrobio of LPA was forced to rush to the defense of one of her garments today. The woman behind the influential label had come under fire when images of a sweater brandishing the words "Being fat is not beautiful, it's an excuse" began circulating on social media.
The problematic item of clothing was being sold on Revolve, marketed on a size S model, for $168. Arrobio stated that the jumper (or "sweater") was part of a charity fundraising campaign between LPA and Lena Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, and Paloma Elsesser. As part of the anti-cyber bullying initiative, each woman shared the most hurtful comment they had received online and allowed it to be printed on a sweater named after them.
Arrobio insisted that the fashion company took the Paloma sweater and sold it out of context. A major part of the backlash stemmed from the fact that the company not only photographed the clothing on a sample size model, but that they don't even sell to women above a size 10 (UK size 14) in general. Nor have they ever expressed intent to improve their size offering on site.
A spokesperson for Revolve apologised and confirmed that the California-based company would donate $20,000 to the Girls Write Now charity that Arrobio had intended to benefit from the sale of the items.
I know that inclusivity is a MAJOR buzzword right now, but what exactly does it mean when brands that exclusively cater to sizes 10 and under use it as part of their messaging?— nicolette mason (@nicolettemason) September 11, 2018
As per Glamour magazine, the statement reads: "This morning, images of a forthcoming LPA collection were prematurely released on Revolve.com. The capsule collection—originally conceived by LPA alongside Lena Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, and Paloma Elsesser—was set to debut tomorrow as a direct commentary on the modern day 'normality' of cyber-bullying and the shared desire to create a community for those most affected by the epidemic.... The prematurely released images featured on Revolve.com [were] not only included without context of the overall campaign, but regrettably featured one of the pieces on a model who's size was not reflective of the piece’s commentary on body positivity. We at Revolve sincerely apologize to all those involved—particularly Lena, Emily, Cara, Suki and Paloma—our loyal customers, and the community as a whole for this error."
In the wake of the controversy, Lena Dunham has also withdrawn her name from the project. She took to social media to share the following:
"Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way."
Model Paloma Elsesser has yet to share her views on the situation as she was involved in several New York Fashion Week shows while the debacle was ongoing.
LPA's statement on the matter can be read via their Instagram post below.
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What was conceived as a statement on today’s internet culture and its treatment of women has gone terribly wrong. We at LPA were so honored when Lena Dunham agreed to work with us on this capsule collection and, most importantly, thrilled at the exposure our work would give to such a serious issue. We coordinated each aspect of the collection itself, to the chosen quotes to the design. We were proud of our final product, the conversation it would start and – most importantly – the direct effect it would have on such an impactful charity in “Girls Write Now”. Where we faltered was not intention, sincerity or conception, but in my own lack of communication that lead to how the collection was portrayed on Revolve.com and the pre-mature release of the e-commerce imagery, a day prior to launch. We were planning to launch with an image of Lena in the sweatshirt along with our statement and explanation. I cannot apologize enough to my good friend Lena, and others, to all of LPA’s fans. We work hard to make the right choices every day, understanding the platform and the opportunity that we are lucky enough to have, and we are so sorry to have let you all down. We know the quotes within the collaboration were shocking, which was entirely the point. To spotlight how we've normalized the way we bully and speak negatively to one another via the internet. Given this controversy, we support Revolve.com and join them in their removal of the collection from our site. We are also proud to make our own donation to “Girls Write Now” – in honor to their commitment to this admirable cause.