Giorgio Armani has raised eyebrows after comparing fashion trends to rape.
The revered designer, 85, was speaking at Milan fashion week and decried modern trends he said sexualised women.
According to The Associated Press, he said: “We say that women are being raped in a corner. Women continue to be raped by designers.”
Asked to clarify his statements, Armani added: “Women can be raped in various ways. Throwing her under a stairwell or suggesting she dresses in a certain way: For me, that is raping a woman.”
Representatives for the designer later said he was speaking metaphorically about trends in luxury fashion he sees as damaging to women.
Armani’s use of the word “rape” was questioned online.
Booth Moore, executive editor at fashion trade journal Women’s Wear Daily, tweeted: “Giorgio Armani used the word ‘rape’ lightly, several times, to talk about what he doesn’t like about fashion.
“The exploitation of women in fashion imagery is not a new phenomenon, far from it. And I do think Armani has tried always to be respectful of women in his work. But the word ‘rape’ is very charged, in any language.”
Tyler McCall, editor-in-chief of fashionista.com, said: “I would love to chalk this one up to an age/language/culture barrier but uhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHH.”
Armani is considered one of the greatest living fashion designers. Known as the godfather of Italian fashion, he formed Armani in 1975.