Posted by Molly Lamoureux
If you know anything about anything in the advertising world, you know that sex sells. Tom Ford knows it too.
Ford has recently been accused of using the nude female body to sell his products. After being in the fashion industry for nearly 30 years, it’s a miracle that the media has taken this long to make a fuss about it.
It was Ford’s recent interview with The Guardian that set off media sirens.
Ford has been featuring sexualized and scantily-clad models in his ads for decades – even since he was creative head at Gucci – but exploitation is the last thing on his mind.
In an interview, Ford said, “My women are not sitting there waiting for someone, they’re taking charge. Doesn’t matter whether they’re naked — they’re powerful, they’re smart, and you’re not going to get them if they don’t want you.”
Some people are furious with the designer’s repeated “offenses,” but I would argue that the fashion industry’s “King of Sex” is just being career-savvy. He knows that sex sells, and he’s not afraid to take advantage of it. One of the most controversial ad campaigns of all time is his 2007 Tom Ford for Men fragrance campaign. (Viewer discretion advised.)
Women aren’t the only ones in the Ford spotlight. He has consistently used both men and women as muses and subjects in his campaigns, and has no regrets.
“I’m an equal opportunity objectifier,” said Ford in an interview. “I’m just as happy to objectify men.”
So the question remains: Is Ford unfairly exploiting and sexualizing people for monetary gain, or are his campaigning methods ethical? To what extent?