The Most Controversial Fashion Moments of 2017

The fashion world had a truly wild 2017. We all know the style industry always has its fair share of hiccups, but as we've learned more about the ways our fave fashion icons can fail us politically, this year the internet couldn't let these issues go. As this rocky year finally comes to a close, let's look back at the five of the biggest fashion controversies that made headlines in 2017.

1. Gigi Hadid's Vogue Arabia Cover 

When Vogue Arabia was set to release their very first print issue this year, everyone was itching to find out which gorgeous Middle Eastern beauty would grace the cover. To everyone's surprise, half-Dutch and half-Palestinian model, Gigi Hadid was chosen. However, the public saw a number of problems with it. Many felt that Hadid wasn't vocal enough about her Palestinian heritage until the cover's release, to which she then started to claim her Palestinian culture with pride. Not only that, but Hadid clearly does not look like the typical Middle Eastern woman either, which made some wonder whether the cover was just another case of whitewashing. To top it all off, Hadid being pictured in hijab fashion was seen to some as an appropriation of Muslim women's struggle to wear the hijab without criticism. With this huge pile of controversies, Vogue Arabia's cover was hard to forget in this year's lineup of fashion industry faux pas. 

2. Kendall Jenner's Pepsi Ad 

Back in April when Pepsi aired its protest-themed ad with Kendall Jenner, many were pretty distraught by its message.The Pepsi ad seemed uplifting in the beginning, showing a peaceful protest and a few artists of different races joining in. Jenner joins the protest, which was all fine and good until she's shown giving a Pepsi to a riot officer. The protesters cheer, the policemen smile and suddenly all the complex issues everyone's fighting for seem to be solved just like that.

The public quickly fired back at Jenner and Pepsi for trivializing the struggles of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the issue of racially-driven police brutality. Pepsi then immediately took down the ad and issued an apology soon after, while Jenner finally expressed her remorse on the issue in an episode KUWTK this past September. While Pepsi's ad created a delusional vision of social progress in 2017, the ad at the very least started some important conversations. We're a lot more educated about these issues now than we were before, which is definitely what we needed in 2017.

3. Miley Cyrus & Stefano Gabbana's Political Feud 


Congrats @braisonccyrus on walking in your 1st runway show.... It's never been my little brothers dream to be a model as HE is one of the most talented musicians my ears have ever been given the gift of hearing.... BUT it is a Cyrus family trait to try everything once (within reason HA) and to embrace opportunities that encourage you to step out of your comfort zone! We believe in trying something new everyday! I love you Prince Suga Bear and seriously congratulations on your experience! I am so proud of you always.... From Nashville to Italy! PS D&G, I STRONGLY disagree with your politics.... but I do support your company's effort to celebrate young artists & give them the platform to shine their light for all to see!

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Miley Cyrus has always been a fan-favorite in fashion for her awesome self-expression and boldness. During June of this year, Cyrus extended her own congratulations for boldness and self-expression to her brother, Braison Cyrus for debuting as a Dolce & Gabbana model. In an Instagram post, Cyrus congratulates Braison, then goes on to say that while she doesn't agree with Dolce & Gabbana's political views, she appreciates their efforts in illuminating young artists through fashion. The public speculated on which political fronts Cyrus and Gabbana disagreed on, with some citing his defense of dressing Melania Trump in their brand.

Still, Cyrus brought politics into the mix and it all boiled over when Stefano Gabbana fired back at Cyrus' comments on Instagram. Gabbana responded with "Ignorant!" and "For your stupid comment, never more work with him," letting Cyrus know he refused to work with her brother again. Gabbana finally posted his own comment on the matter saying, "We make dresses and if you think about doing politics with a post it’s simply ignorant. We don’t need your posts or comments so next time please ignore us!!” Miley was honest about her feelings toward the major fashion label but ended up facing a really harsh response. With all that rage from Gabbana, its unlikely we'll forget this social media drama anytime soon.

4. Melania Trump's Heels on a Houston Relief Trip 

This year, Hurricane Harvey's impact on Houston, Texas was a tragedy that left America stunned in its wake. But when First Lady Melania Trump accompanied President Trump to Houston, people were also shocked at her choice of footwear. That's right––Melania was seen wearing Manolo Blahnik stilettos on her trip to a devastated and impoverished Houston, which to some seemed inconsiderate. As people discussed the issue on Twitter, the controversy grew more complex. Some thought wearing luxurious shoes to a relief trip was insensitive to the Harvey victims, while others simply saw the heels as impractical to walking in flooded waters. Some even thought about how the public comes after Melania's fashion choices more than Trump since she is a woman, while others countered with the fact that she is indeed a fashion icon and should be held accountable for making these fashionably-conscious decisions.

This whirlwind of drama was followed by a clarification by Melania's team that Melania changed into different shoes once she landed in Houston. Designer, Manolo Blahnik commented a few weeks later on Melania's heels, saying she was by no means "insensitive." There's a lot to unpack in this fiasco, but we'll let you decide whether wearing the heels was the right move or not. 

5. Ming Xi's Fall in the 2017 VS Fashion Show

The much-anticipated Victoria's Secret Fashion Show turned controversial when the beautiful Ming Xi tripped on her floor-length gown while walking down the runway. Our hearts sank even lower when they showed Xi crying backstage after the incident, her fellow VS models coming to her side for comfort. Viewers were aware that the VS Fashion Show is pre-recorded and edited before airing on TV, so after seeing Xi's fall in the final cut, there were tons of mixed feelings. People to took Twitter, and some saw the inclusion of the fall as a publicity lure, knowing that the embarrassing moment would instantly create buzz about the show. Others saw the fall as a way of humanizing the VS models and showing audiences the normality of making mistakes and recovering from them with social support. People altogether, however, showed their love and support for Xi, which is still a win in our opinion. 

As this year went by, we've clearly become more woke about how the fashion industry can really flop when it comes to being culturally, morally and politically sensitive. While these controversies definitely heated up our 2017, they show that we all just want to call out the wrongs of the fashion world and make it more inclusive, politically-aware and culturally appropriate. Let's hope we can leave all the fashion world's clutter in 2017 and take what we learned this year to create an even better fashion industry in 2018!