“What’s this in the Balenciaga?”

Harry Styles' new collaboration with Gucci is facing fresh criticism following the Balenciaga scandal.

Harry Styles’ new collaboration with Gucci is facing fresh criticism following the Balenciaga scandal. (Photo: FilmMagic)

Gucci is facing backlash for its ad featuring Harry Styles. To promote Gucci’s HA HA HA collection, the Grammy-winning singer posed in a teddy bear t-shirt next to a toddler-sized mattress.

The Gucci campaign launched last month but is facing fresh criticism in the wake of the Balenciaga scandal. Balenciaga was widely criticized for its holiday ads featuring young children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage attire. Kering is the parent company of both luxury fashion brands.

Among those publicly speaking out against the Styles ad campaign is Alexandra Gucci Zarini, whose great-grandfather founded the Gucci brand.

“Why would you make a ‘performance piece’ with a toddler mattress and a grown man?” Zarini wrote on Instagram, according to a screenshot taken by The daily mail. “My concern is that there seems to be a common ideology in Kering’s fashion houses.”

The campaign, which was released on November 2, was conceived by former creative director Alessandro Michele. Gucci announced in late November that he would be leaving the role after seven years. In last month’s press release touting the collaboration with Styles, Gucci explained that “play is at the heart of the Gucci HA HA HA collection.”

“After all, the name is the onomatopoeic sound of the written essence of the ‘smiling face’ emoji, as well as the serial crasis of ‘Harry’ and ‘Alessandro’ initials,” the brand stated. “Starting from those little quirks that come together in childish visions, it turns into a ‘dream wardrobe’ that reflects the two creative minds behind the collection.”

Yahoo reached out to Gucci and Kering for comment.

Gucci shared the controversial image on Instagram last week, and outraged users took over the comment section.

“Is this a kid’s mattress ad? If not…why is there a kid’s mattress on a man in a fashion ad… what are you trying to normalize,” one person wrote.

“Toddler bed and teddy bear???” another person wrote.

“Unless he’s about to announce he’s expecting a baby, nothing else can justify the mattress. I don’t want to hear it!!!!!!” someone else noticed.

One Instagram user put it bluntly, “What’s this in the Balenciaga?”

MORE: Balenciaga creative director apologizes for “inappropriate” campaign

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