Italian fashion brand Valentino slammed for disrespecting Japanese culture, apologizes, Lifestyle News

The Italian luxury brand has issued an apology after the content of a recently released campaign featuring model Mitsuki Kimura (known widely as Koki) was criticized on Japanese social media platforms.

In the ad, Kimura poses in heels on a piece of fabric that, to many users, looked like an obi, or kimono sash, lying on the floor. Online, commenters decried the placement of the belt as a symbol of traditional Japanese culture and the fact that it was “trampled” by a mannequin in shoes; some deemed the visual blasphemous.

“The fabric resembles the traditional Japanese obi and Maison Valentino deeply apologizes for any offense caused,” a spokesperson said, noting the brand’s commitment to “nurturing a culture of equality and inclusion. worldwide”.

The spokesperson added that the campaign, which also stars Korean actress Son Ye-jin and Chinese actress Guan Xiaotong, seeks to highlight a connection between communities and global cultures.

The images, which are part of a promotional shoot for the Milan, Japan-based company’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection, ‘Valentino Collezione Milano for Women’, show Koki sitting in an obi, which is traditionally made of the same material as a kimono and worn as a wide belt around the waist.

Other images show Koki, famous both as a model and for being the daughter of former boy group idol Takuya Kimura of SMAP, stepping on the obi in high-heeled shoes and wearing ankle boots. interior of a house – a major misstep in Japanese culture.

In the ad, Koki is shown walking and standing on an obi (kimono sash) while wearing high heels. If that wasn’t enough, the obi was also draped all over the floor outside. Both acts are considered disrespectful.

Valentino has since removed the ad from its official website as well as its Instagram and YouTube.

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