The model protested during the Gucci show to draw attention to mental health

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The non-binary model believes that Gucci ‘vulgarly’ uses the image of a straitjacket, and calls for the fight against the stigma of mental illness.

Gucci model Ayesha Tan Jones staged a protest at the spring-summer 2020 fashion show at Milan Fashion Week. While entering the catwalk, the model stretched out her hands, on which was written “Mental health — not fashion.” Thus, Jones protested the clothes in which the models appeared at the opening of the show — they were wearing straight white suits resembling a straitjacket.

The model wrote on her Instagram that she herself, her family and loved ones were faced with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. According to Ayesha Tan Jones, a large fashion house like Gucci should not use mental disorders as a metaphor for the transience of fashion. Jones said in a statement that many still do not consider mental illness “real” and stigmatize people with similar problems, and a straitjacket refers to the times when people faced abuse in medical facilities.

Ayesha Tan Jones is a non-binary person and uses the pronoun ‘they’. Jones said in a statement that LGBTQ + and ethnic minorities are at times more likely to suffer from mental disorders than heterosexual, cis, and white people. Jones believes that the use of such an image by the fashion house for commercial purposes is vulgar and offends millions of people around the world suffering from mental illness.

View this post on Instagram

Hello ✨ I just want to say Thank You for all the support so many of you have given me since I lifted my hands in peaceful protest on the Gucci Runway show yesterday 💖 I feel very blessed to be surrounded by supportive comrades, and to know that there are so many people sharing support online for this action ✊🏽 I want to use this opportunity to remind people that this sort of bravery, is only a simple gesture compared to the bravery that people with mental health issues show everyday. To have the bravery to get out of bed, to greet the day, and to live their lives is an act of strength, and I want to thank you for being here and being YOU ! ☀️ The support people have shown to my act is more than I could imagine, so I only trust that we will share this same support to our friends, siblings, loved ones, acquaintances, internet friends or even strangers, who might be going through tough times with their Mental Health. Showing up for them may come in many forms, check in via text or DM, listen to them with patience and without judgement, offer a helping hand with household tasks like food shop, cooking or cleaning, regularly remind them how amazing and strong they are, but also that is okay feel the feels too, Lets show up for people with mental health and help end the stigma together !🌻 Many of the other Gucci models who were in the show felt just as strongly as I did about this depiction of straightjackets, and without their support I would not have had the courage to walk out and peacefully protest. Some have chosen to donate a portion their fee, and I 100% of mine, to mental health charities, who are doing amazing work for people today! Below are tags to some amazing charities that I encourage, if you have the resources and capacity to, please donate in any way you can, and in my linktree ( in bio ) is a google doc to websites for more charities ! <3 Also, please comment any other Mental Health organisations globally you would like to support and share, as my resources are UK/US based currently 💫 blessings, love & rage – Ayesha / YaYa 🌈 ✨ ✨ ✨ @projectlets @mindcharity @mermaidsgender @qtpocmentalhealth @stonewalluk @switchboardlgbt @lgbtswitchboard @papyrus_uk

A post shared by YaYa Bones (@ayeshatanjones) on

A Gucci spokesperson confirmed to The Guardian that the action was not planned in advance. The fashion house also added that suits — straitjackets were a fashion statement for the show and would not go on sale. During a press conference after the show, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele noted that these costumes are a discussion on the theme of uniforms: “Uniforms are something that limits and constrains a person, which makes you anonymous.” According to Michele, a straitjacket is “the highest kind of uniform.”

Among the visitors to the show was a transgender actress and model Hari Nef. She defended Gucci and noted that these “deliberately frustrating” costumes were more “a provocative reminder of submission than a glamor of insanity.”


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