Donna Karan courts controversy with new campaign shot in Haiti
Donna Karan's spring/summer 2012 advertising campaign featuring local Haitians has been met with disapproval.
Donna Karan's Spring 2012 collection is heavily influenced by her charity work in Haiti. The designer spent time there following the tragic earthquake last year, focusing upon initiatives dedicated to exporting Haitan craftsmanship and artistry, and rebuilding communities.
But her new advertising campaigns, which were shot in Haiti, have provoked some controversy.
Photographed by Russell James, the shoot was inspired by the work of Haitian artist Philippe Dodard and shot on location in Jacmel in the south of the country. Model, Adriana Lima poses amongst local residents in graphic dresses and earth-toned hues, from the spring/summer 2012 collection.
Lima is a Brazilian model, most famous for her Victoria's Secret Angel body. "I have never used her before, and I am totally in love with her" said Karan to WWD . "She shows the heart and soul of Haiti."
In one of the images, however, the local children appear to blend into the shadowed background behind the model. A commenter labelled as Circe on Fashion Gone Rogue refers to them as "minorities in the background." A commenter, identified as StrawHat on the Huffington Post , notes that "using the downtrodden as props for high-fashion shoots smacks of completely insensitive imperialistic attitudes."
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