Gucci Under Fire for Shackle-Like Ankle Bracelet

Runway at the Gucci show during the Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 - September 22 - Getty-SPLIT - 2019
Estrop/Getty Images

Social media users have pointed out that the anklet resembles an electronic monitor and appears to bear gold bullets, which in fact are Gucci Beauty lipsticks, also shown on arm cuffs of a similar design during the spring-summer 2020 runway presentation.

Are shackle-inspired ankle bracelets the next trend? As headlines trumpet a potential Trump impeachment and prison time for stars charged in the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, Gucci is coming under fire for showing a leather ankle bracelet that some on social media have criticized for resembling an electronic ankle monitor (used as an alternative to incarceration) as part of its spring-summer 2020 presentation in Milan.

Others have pointed out that the anklet appears to bear gold bullets, which in fact are Gucci Beauty lipsticks, also shown on arm cuffs of a similar design during the catwalk show.

“When did it become fashionable to make an ankle monitor a fashion accessory? Asking for a friend,” said one Twitter user.

Another said, “Y’all can’t be serious?!! Y’all really out here making ankle monitors now?!!”

A third user said, “What do you think of Alessandro_Michele new @gucci pointed toe flats with ankle holster to hold your lipsticks??? Some of [sic] said it resembles a prison ankle tag however personally I think it may come in useful…”

The Italian luxury fashion house, helmed by creative director Alessandro Michele, was also criticized for its spring-summer 2020 presentation that kicked off with models wearing straitjackets, not intended to be sold in stores, according to the brand. A statement from Gucci said the concept was to show “blank-styled clothes” as representative of “the most extreme version of a uniform, dictated by society and those who control it.”

In a self-described “peaceful protest,” model Ayesha Tan Jones wrote “mental health is not fashion” on her hands and held them up as she walked the runway. She later posted two lengthy notes on Instagram about how “the stigma around mental health must end,” adding that she had donated her full fee for the show to mental health charities, as had other models.

In February, Gucci apologized for selling a “blackface” sweater with a pull-up turtleneck balaclava and red lips.

The following month, the brand rolled out a Gucci Changemakers program to support diversity and inclusion in fashion, which officially kicked off its initiative in North America this week with a call for applications for a $1.5 million scholarship program and $5 million impact fund for nonprofit organizations.

The Hollywood Reporter has contacted Gucci for a response to the ankle monitor controversy.