Fashion designer Giorgio Armani is being criticised for his comments surrounding non-heterosexual couples during Milan’s fashion week.
The 88-year-old stylist made the choice to only include five heterosexual couples in his 2023 men’s fashion show. At the end of the show, each couple walked across the stage and exchanged loving glances.
Details new collection fall/winter 23/24 for Giorgio Armani pic.twitter.com/Rnf1mEB70c
— Leonor Custodio (@leonorfcustodio) January 16, 2023
While the fashion show was generally well-received by both queer and straight audiences, when asked about his decision to exclusively feature hetero-presenting couples in the show, Armani clarified that it was indeed a very intentional choice.
He stated that he chose heterosexual couples because he wanted to see “nice, serious” couples on the runway.
He added, “It is a conscious choice, we are talking about a man and a woman who love each other… Let’s show this reality that everyone likes.
“Then there are the transgressions, the variations, being modern, all right, I won’t say anything of course. Everyone likes a man and a woman who love each other.”
Many criticised Armani for saying that the public generally prefers to see heterosexual couples who “love each other” and are “serious” while also implicitly dismissing non-heterosexual couples as “transgressions” or “variations” who don’t necessarily fit social expectations.
The fashion industry is largely considered LGBTQ+ friendly, with many openly queer models and designers dominating the business.
This isn’t the first time that the fashion designer has received criticism for statements that many perceived as homophobic.
In 2015, Armani received backlash after a Sunday Times Magazine interview where he stated that gay men should not ‘dress homosexual‘ and that someone’s clothing should not overtly reflect their sexuality. He also said when considering fashion choices, ‘a man has to be a man.’
While the public generally acknowledges that Armani is gay himself, and recognises that he had a long-time relationship with fashion designer Sergio Galeotti who passed away in 1985, the fashion designer does not discuss his private life during press interviews.
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