Antidote Magazine’s ‘Homeless’ Spread Should Be Kicked to the Curb
Using homelessness to sell high fashion? Not chic, Antidote.
City dwellers know that when they leave the house each morning, the chance of running into a person without a home is quite high, especially during these difficult economic times. As a New York City resident, it’s hard to find an avenue without a desperate, cold, and hungry person possessing little more than a filthy box and plastic cup huddled on the sidewalk.
The issue of homelessness in America is no joke: according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there are approximately 3.5 million homeless men, women, and children in this country every year. Children make up 23% of that population.
And with unemployment lingering at 9.1% and 46.2 million people in the U.S. alone living well below the poverty level, many families are struggling to make ends meet every single day.
We don’t know if bi-annual fashion zine Antidote’s homeless spread in its Fall/Winter edition was supposed to provide some sort of social commentary on an issue that plagues people around the world, but we do know that it is incredibly offensive.
The spread features gorgeous Polish model Magdelena Frackowiak with fake dirt on her face perched on boxes and doing things like eating an orange with her legs open or lying on a park bench. And if this isn’t tasteless enough, the leggy beauty is clad in designer clothes only the wealthiest of us could even dream of affording. Because, you know, homeless women can drop tons of cash on trendy duds and be photographed by the renowned Giampaolo Sgura.
Sadly, this isn’t the first fashion spread with images of models pretending to be homeless to outrage the public. In 2009, W magazine dressed model Sasha Pivovarova in Dior, Prada, and Chanel in a failed attempt to make living on the streets tres chic. Even the celebrated Vivienne Westwood was ‘inspired’ by the epidemic for a 2010 runway show.
Sasha Pivovarova in W
Instead of attempting to pass their models off as destitute women, maybe designers should work on clothing and feeding the poor…or at least on being a little more sensitive to their plight.
Diana Denza is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.