Shock Tactics: 9 Of The Most Controversial Fashion Shoots Of All Time

Yahoo Lifestyle

Sex sells, we all know this.

But apparently violence, racism and religious imagery will also encourage spending.

This week, the world was mortified to learn that Vogue Italia had created images of domestic assault to promote certain fashion brands in their April 2014 issue - for a shoot that they called "Horror Story."

People, including us, felt that the images missed the mark - glamourising and cashing in on a topic that is intensely painful for its victims.

Vogue Italia aren't the only ones that have created controversy by using risky subjects to promote their campaigns.

We've had a look through some of the shock tactics used in the name of fashion and selected 9 of the most stand-out.

1. Vogue Hurricane Sandy Shoot

Talk about making light of other people's misery.

There's something seriously off about a bunch of models wearing incredibly expensive haute couture, surrounded by the debris of other people's lives.

Not cool Vogue, not cool.

2. Calvin Klein Jeans Group Make Out

It wasn't so much the orgy that people had an issue with, it was the age of the models.

Many parents felt that Calvin Klein Jeans was marketed to their children and that the models on the billboard were clearly meant to be teenagers.

One commenter felt that the message it sent to young girls was: "You exist for the pleasure of men" and that this wasn't particularly healthy.

3. Dolce & Gabbana Gang Bang

Dolce & Gabbana took the group sex theme a step further in this campaign.

The shoot pictured a defenceless woman, begin held down by one man and surveyed by several more.

Many people considered this to be suggestive of a rape scene and argued that sexual assault shouldn't be used to sell clothes.

4. American Apparel "Made in Bangladesh"

American Apparel are no strangers to controversy.

They have used scantilly-clad, oversexualised images of women to market their clothes since the brand's inception.

People felt this one to be particularly exploitative though, because of the tag line.

Bangladesh is often cited as somewhere that women and children are forced into labour in order to create cheap clothes for sale in the UK and America.

The model's nudity in this image seems just as degrading.

5. Vogue NL "Heritage Heroes"

It was supposed to honour Marc Jacobs' work with Louis Vuitton, but it just came off looking a bit racist.

Vogue Netherlands claimed that its tribute was also supposed to honour Grace Jones and other icons of African-American descent, though why they couldn't just have used one of the many, stunning black models in the world is puzzling.

6. Diva Magazine "Be My Slave"

We're not really sure what Diva magazine was trying to say with the "be my slave" shoot, except that fashion is a luxury among the privileged.

7. Purple Magazine & Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan poses as Jesus while wearing a revealing dress and smoking a cigarette.

Any sort of blasphemy is likely to get people all riled up, especially in America.

8. Guy Bourdin for Nars

Guy Bourdin was an incredibly talented fashion photographer.

The Frenchman worked for Vogue France for many years and produced some of the magazine's most famous shoots.

He was a fan of controversy too and many of his images featured nudity and violence.

This particular shot, which was created in connection with makeup brand Nars, is perhaps a bridge too far though.

Dead women with nosebleeds aren't sexy.

9. Miley Cyrus & Terry Richardson


We'll be first to admit that Miley gets a bad rap for things that plenty of wild children have done before her.

But this particular shoot was so much ick.

[Vogue Horror Story Domestic Violence Inspired Shoot Shocker]

[The Disgusting Handbag Confesions of Real Women]

Soft porn, of a young ex-Disney star, shot by a photographer who is rumoured to be a total sleazebag.

No thanks!