NSFW

Thanks to Y/Project, We May Have Hit Peak NSFW Fashion Campaigns

The buzzy label’s latest features robot fellatio—and much, much more.


Frederik Heyman, courtesy of Y/Project

Over the course of his five-year tenure at the helm of one of Paris’s buzziest labels, Y/Project, the designer Glenn Martens has repeatedly divided the internet with offerings like thigh-high Ugg boots and $315 denim panties. But with its latest fall/winter accessories campaign, the label has truly outdone itself.

As Martens recently told W, Martens wants his avant-garde, often unisex clothes to be for everyone—including, apparently, models who’ve been transformed into robots, and programmed to, upon command via remote controls, engage in all manners of oral pleasures. They might be the technological imaginings of the artist Frederik Heyman, but the campaign somehow still manages to be even more explicit than Eckhaus Latta‘s infamous ads for spring 2017, which featured real models literally having (pixelated) sex.

There’s a video, too, though since it’s apparently too explicit for Instagram, watching it requires being a bit more proactive than a simple scroll. The version that Martens posted on Thursday morning was only a blurred snippet of the full video—which you can see on Y/Project’s website. (The accessories that the campaign is actually promoting, which include giant ceramic, Kamasutra-inspired necklaces designed by Stéphanie D’heygere, on the other hand, have managed to escape censorship.)

As with Eckhaus Latta, Instagram has yet to take down Y/Project’s images—and, unlike Eckhaus Latta, the label’s website has yet to crash. So far, the reception has been overwhelmingly positive: heart, fire, and applause emojis have flooded the posts’ comments sections, which admittedly are studded with a few along the lines of “Boii what the fuck” and “Idk what I’m looking at.” So far, at least one of the campaign stars, named Lumi, has spelled it out for them: “I’m eating ass in this Y/Project campaign ✨,” she captioned a repost of the video. “Go check it out ❤️.”

Related: How Models Ended Up Having Actual Sex in Eckhaus Latta’s Spring 2017 Campaign

A Brief History of Fashion’s Most NSFW, Controversial Ad Campaigns

For their first large-scale campaign, the designers behind Eckhaus Latta enlisted a diverse group of 30-something couples to not only wear their spring 2017 collection, but have real sex in front of the camera for the photographer Heji Shin, who had produced a similar series of images for a German sex education book for teenagers.

In 1971, a nude (and largely hairless) Yves Saint Laurent posed nude for Jeanloup Sieff to debut his first-ever perfume for his namesake label, Pour Homme.

A 15-year-old Brooke Shields caused a sensation in 1980 when she asked “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing,” in one of a series of steamy videos shot for the brand by legendary Richard Avedon, which were then banned by TV networks CBS and ABC.

Other than her controversially “heroin chic” ads for Calvin Klein, a topless, 17-year-old Kate Moss also starred in this 1992 campaign for the brand with Mark Wahlberg—one that made her so uncomfortable, she later said it prompted a nervous breakdown.

Rumor has it that Wonderbra’s billboards of Eva Herzigova caused traffic build-ups and car crashes when they went up in 1994.

It didn’t take long for controversy to erupt after Steven Meisel and Calvin Klein cast a crew of apparently underage models, including Kate Moss, for a 1995 Calvin Klein campaign; eventually, CK responded to the outcry over the ad with another ad, a full page in the New York Times announcing it was pulling the original advertisement.

This infamous 2000 campaign from Yves Saint Laurent, featuring a nude Sophie Dahl, drew 948 complaints to the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority, making it the eighth most complained about advertisement in recorded history.

Yves Saint Laurent again pared things down for one of his perfume ads in 2002, this time swapping out the designer’s likeness for a chiseled model to go full frontal.

Tom Ford and Carine Roitfeld both solidified their reputations as provocateurs when the designer and stylist drove down the fact that they were working for Gucci by shaving a “G” into a model’s pubic hair for this 2003 campaign shot by Mario Testino.

American Apparel, whose founder Dov Charney has faced a litany of sexual harassment lawsuits, began its run of controversial ads depicting highly sexualized and barely clothed women—an approach that was highly successful in creating conversation, but hardly saved the brand from bankruptcy—with this 2006 campaign.

The concept of “sex sells” barely gets more explicit than in Terry Richardson’s 2007 campaign for Tom Ford’s men’s fragrance, an ad that was banned in Italy.

“Stupid is as stupid done” is how some critics responded to Diesel’s 2010 “Be Stupid” campaign, which featured images of models flashing security cameras, among other suggestive poses. Some felt the images were needlessly sensationalistic while others described them as youthful and rebellious.

Dakota Fanning’s 2011 campaign for Marc Jacobs’ Lola campaign was banned in England after the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority deemed it too “sexually provocative” for the then 17-year-old actress, who was photographed by Juergen Teller.

Thanks to a little Photoshop, Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez were just several of the world leaders found making out in a 2011 campaign by United Colors of Benneton, which has a long history of provoking with their ads.

The model Anna Ewers has long been one of Alexander Wang’s muses, but the pair ended up in hot water with this 2014 campaign, in which Ewers is only just barely wearing Wang’s clothes.

This 2007 campaign by Dolce & Gabbana’s came to be known as the “gang rape advert” not only then, when several magazines refused to run it, but when it resurfaced online in 2015.

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Agency also banned this 2015 Miu Miu campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, for being “irresponsible” in sexualizing an apparently underage (but actually 22-year-old) Mia Goth.

Calvin Klein courted controversy again last year with a campaign that featured a model photographed from under her dress, but the acclaimed British female photographer Harley Weir, whose work has long been interested in youth culture and sexuality, defended the campaign.

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