A runway model has staged a protest at Gucci's Spring/Summer 2020 show at Milan Fashion Week, describing the fashion house's decision to "use the imagery of straight jackets and outfits alluding to mental patients" as "unimaginative" and "offensive."

Ayesha Tan-Jones, a model in the show, held up their hands while on the runway to display the message "mental health is not fashion."

"As an artist and model who has experienced my own struggles with mental health, as well as family members and loved ones who have been affected by depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia, it is hurtful and insensitive for a major fashion house such as Gucci to use this imagery as a concept for a fleeting fashion moment," the model said in a statement posted to Instagram.

"It is in bad taste for Gucci to use the imagery of straight jackets and outfits alluding to mental patients, while being rolled out on a conveyor belt as if a piece of factory meat," Tan-Jones added.

"Presenting these struggles as props for selling clothes is vulgar, unimaginative and offensive to the millions of people around the world affected by these issues," said the model, who describes themselves as a non-binary artist and musician.

Gucci posted several images of the fashion show on Instagram, noting that the "utilitarian uniforms" were designed to be a statement and would not be made available to customers. The "blank-styled clothes" were intended "to represent how through fashion, power is exercised over life, to eliminate self-expression," the post explained.

The fashion house also pointed out that the straitjacket-inspired garments were just one part of its Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Made up of almost 90 looks, the range also featured a number of colorful items that Gucci designed as an "antidote" to the white utilitarian garments.

A spokesperson for Gucci could not immediately be contacted for comment on the protest.

This is not the first time the fashion house has found itself at the center of controversy.

In February, Gucci apologized and discontinued selling a sweater that social media users said resembled blackface because of its design.

In a Twitter post, the Italian luxury brand said it "deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper."



Hello ✨ I just want to say Thank You for all the support so many of you have given me since I lifted my hands in peaceful protest on the Gucci Runway show yesterday �� I feel very blessed to be surrounded by supportive comrades, and to know that there are so many people sharing support online for this action ✊�� I want to use this opportunity to remind people that this sort of bravery, is only a simple gesture compared to the bravery that people with mental health issues show everyday. To have the bravery to get out of bed, to greet the day, and to live their lives is an act of strength, and I want to thank you for being here and being YOU ! ☀️ The support people have shown to my act is more than I could imagine, so I only trust that we will share this same support to our friends, siblings, loved ones, acquaintances, internet friends or even strangers, who might be going through tough times with their Mental Health. Showing up for them may come in many forms, check in via text or DM, listen to them with patience and without judgement, offer a helping hand with household tasks like food shop, cooking or cleaning, regularly remind them how amazing and strong they are, but also that is okay feel the feels too, Lets show up for people with mental health and help end the stigma together !�� Many of the other Gucci models who were in the show felt just as strongly as I did about this depiction of straightjackets, and without their support I would not have had the courage to walk out and peacefully protest. Some of us have chosen to donate a portion of our fee to mental health charities who are doing amazing work for people today! Below are tags to some amazing charities that I encourage, if you have the resources and capacity to, please donate in any way you can, and in my linktree ( in bio ) is a google doc to websites for more charities ! <3 Also, please comment any other Mental Health organisations globally you would like to support and share, as my resources are UK/US based currently �� blessings, love & rage - Ayesha / YaYa �� ✨ ✨ ✨ @mindcharity @mermaidsgender @qtpocmentalhealth @stonewalluk @switchboardlgbt @lgbtswitchboard @papyrus_uk

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STATEMENT for my protest of the @gucci show ✊�� MENTAL HEALTH IS NOT FASHION

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