While walking in the Gucci Show at Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, a model has staged a silent protest. 

Ayesha Tan-Jones accompanied by other models were dressed in white jumpsuits for the fashion show, some dressed in straitjackets. 

Tan-Jones is non-binary and uses them pronouns, wrote on their hands: “Mental health is not fashion”. 

Gucci clarifies that the designs were meant to represent “how through fashion, power is exercised over life, to eliminate self-expression” 

After the end of the fashion show, Tan-Jones posted on Instagram: “Straitjackets are a symbol of a cruel time in medicine when mental illness was not understood, and people’s rights and liberties were taken away from them, while they were abused and tortured in the institution.”

She continued, “It is in bad taste for Gucci to use the imagery of straitjackets and outfits alluding to mental patients, while being rolled out on a conveyor belt as if a piece of factory meat.”

On Monday, Ayesha Tan-Jones further post that they, along with some other models in the fashion show, has donated a portion of the fees to mental health charities, they were paid by Gucci. 

They said, “Many of the other Gucci models who were in the show felt just as strongly as I did about this depiction of straitjackets, and without their support, I would not have had the courage to walk out and peacefully protest.”

Gucci replied that the ‘straitjackets’ were designed to be a remedy to colorful designs in the forthcoming Summer/Spring 2020 Fashion Shows. 

Gucci continued, “These clothes were a statement for the fashion show and will not be sold.”

Her protest comes just few months after the popular designing company has appointed a Diversity Chief, Renée Tirado, evoked by two incidents earlier. 

Gucci was forced to withdraw a jumper in February, after critics claimed it resembled a blackface minstrel. The black balaclava jumper was sold for $890 (£715), which covered half of the face of the model and large red lips fixed on it. 

In May, the fashion house was alleged of cultural appropriation for $790 headpieces, which appeared like a Sikh ‘turban’. It also draws criticism from the US-based Sikh Coalition, tweets: “The Sikh ‘turban’ is not just a fashion accessory, but it’s also a sacred religious article of faith.”

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