Fashion brand Diesel is facing backlash over a new limited edition clothing line that includes a pricey silk jacket with a homophobic slur printed all over it.
The jacket, which is part of the company’s ‘Diesel Hate Couture’ line, features the word ‘faggot’ printed multiple times in a random pattern.
The line includes several types of items like t-shirts, hoodies, bomber jackets, hats and more.
“The truth is this: the more you expose the hate you get, treating it with irony and irreverence, the less power it has to cause harm,” Diesel told Hypebeast last month. “This is why we are launching HAɄTE COUTURE. A unique collection designed to do just that: disempower hate.”
The concept behind the provocative clothing is to reclaim online hate using the slogan, ‘The more hate you wear, the less you care.’
Other terms used in the line include ‘slut,’ ‘fat,’ ‘weirdo,’ ‘not cool’ and ‘f*ck you imposter.’
While outrageous, none seem quite as inflammatory or hateful as the f-word.
In addition, select Diesel stores will offer the ability to design your own ‘hate couture.’ Employees will sew a patch using the term of your choice on various items.
“Online hate is inevitable, but caring about it is optional,” writes Diesel on the YouTube page for the ad spot below.
The video begins by explaining all of the terms used were picked by the cast members from actual hate comments they’ve received via social media.
You can see openly gay actor Tommy Dorfman (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why) wearing the controversial jacket, which sells for a whopping £350. The jacket appears to be available online through the brand’s UK website.
Also taking part in the video are Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Miles Heizer, Barbie Ferreira, Bella Thorne, Yoo Ah-In, Bria Vinaite, Yovanna Ventura and Jonathan Bellini.
“Our aim has always been to disempower those that create the hate and manifest negativity,” said Diesel in a statement. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
The items came online last month, but responses on social media has been coming in waves.
Some folks like the idea, but others call the idea “offensive” and “disgusting.”
— Andrew Hayden-Smith (@AndrewHaydSmith) October 12, 2018
What the flying fricken hell is this????? I have the strongest hate for this word and the way it’s thrown around like it’s nothing, and they’ve just gone and put it all over a jacket. It isn’t a positive word that should be plastered all over a jacket. Bold move diesel bold move.
— Char (@charbirtlesx) November 7, 2018
— NickHorbowyj (@NickHorbowyj) November 7, 2018
— Matt James East (@mattjeast_) November 7, 2018
— Danny (@r2danny2) November 7, 2018
To be honest, I'm with Diesel on this one. Ny taking ownership of a word you take away its power. I'm gay and faggot is my favourite word. It's also used frequently within my circle of friends both gay and straight. I'd wear that jacket. https://t.co/Km8Qv9Tk4J
— Friends Call me Dom (@Duke_Silverback) November 8, 2018
We STAND with @Diesel and their FAGGOT jacket. And if you dont, you are a huge hypocrite. Also:
“All proceeds from this jacket are benefitting the @AliForneyCenter
In NY which provides shelter, food and programs to homeless LGBTQ+ youth. The majority are ppl of COLOUR &/or #HIV+ pic.twitter.com/p1eyBGdfg1
— Gay Male Journal (@Gaymalejournal) November 8, 2018
What do you think, readers? Is this like the LGBTQ community reclaiming the word ‘queer?’ Or is this just a bad idea?