Fashion brand Diesel is facing criticism for selling a £350 bomber jacket covered in a homophobic slur.
The satin bomber jacket with all-over print features the word faggot stitched on the front pocket area and painted all over the back.
The product description lists the jacket as part of the labels the more hate you wear, the less you care Ha(u)te Couture collection, which includes hoodies, T-shirts, and jackets emblazoned with hateful comments people have received. The line includes jackets with not cool and imposter, T-shirts that read slut and the bad guy, and hoodies covered in Diesel is dead.
The idea behind the collection is that by wearing hateful comments, you can take away their power to hurt.
The campaign reads: Haters gonna hate? Ok. We got haters. You got haters. Everybody does.
Do we care? No we dont. We actually….wear.
Discover the Diesel Haute Couture Collection because the more hate you wear, the less you care.
But some argue that a homophobic slur is not the kind of hate that should be reclaimed and commercialised.
On Twitter people have described the jacket as disgusting, horrific, and homophobic.
Seriously? I dont need to waste £350 to increase my risk of getting queer bashed, thanks @DIESEL. People experience that for free every single day. Also, did I miss the memo about the gays reclaiming that word? No, I did not. https://t.co/NbU72ZgYna
— Matt Bagwell (@BaggersBites) November 7, 2018
Imagine the arrogance of a fashion brand that thinks it can change the meaning of a hate word that is still used against the LGBT+ community without their permission https://t.co/mVBrEHrrG3
— Poorna Bell (@poornabell) November 7, 2018
This jacket was worn by actor Tommy Dorfman in Diesels campaign, when celebrities and influencers were asked to choose the worst online comments they had ever received so they could wear it. Dorfman chose to wear the word faggot.
At the time of the campaigns release in September the brand also listed the option to create your own Ha(u)te Couture items in store. Customers could print the insults theyd faced on items in 42 stores around the world, with a portion of the proceeds going to anti-bullying charity the Only the Brave Foundation.
When the campaign debuted there was backlash around selling the faggot jacket, to which Diesel responded by tweeting: Its worth repeating: you dont make online hate disappear by hiding it.
Its worth repeating: you dont make online hate disappear by hiding it. Share your stories of online hate. Its time to take the hurt out of hate. #DieselHateCouture
— Diesel (@DIESEL) October 10, 2018
The main thing is not to hide, said Bruno Bertelli, the creative officer behind the campaign. Hate comments are based on the fact that people are hiding themselves.
If you keep [hate] inside, it grows and hurts and becomes bigger and bigger.
When criticism first arose, Diesel released the following statement: Our aim has always been to disempower those that create the hate and manifest negativity.
Every individual cast within the campaign relates personally to the issue itself. To bring awareness to the wider issue, each chose a phrase that they wanted to wear proudly with the goal of empowering others to take a stance.
Together, Diesel and Tommy Dorfman use this as a platform to disempower the haters and show the more hate you wear, the less you care.
Months after its release, the jacket is still causing controversy.
Weve contacted Diesel and OTB, the group Diesel is a part of, for comment, and will update this story when we hear back.