Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Topless advert for luxury menswear range labelled sexist

Photographer Mara Sommer says Zippora Seven was relaxed and happy during the shoot and she has had only positive feedback about the images.
Photographer Mara Sommer says Zippora Seven was relaxed and happy during the shoot and she has had only positive feedback about the images.

Advertising for a exclusive menswear brand that features a topless model has been labelled as soft porn and sexist by women's advocates.

The stylised shots for luxury brand E Von Dadelszen feature partially nude shots of well-known New Zealand model Zippora Seven and a fully clothed male model.

In some photos Seven wears a pair of black knickers alongside a male wearing a suit and tie.

In other shots she wears black lingerie and a white business shirt, in another, a man's cashmere sweater.

Clothing from the store, in Auckland's Britomart precinct, is bespoke and fitted by appointment with "steaming espresso or chilled Perrier Jouët" while the car is valet parked. Satchels come with a $5000 price tag, shoes $1400 and cashmere sweaters start from $800.

Founder Eddie Von Dadelszen said the photos told a story and were relevant in that they pointed to an upcoming woman's line of clothing.

Woman's advocate Louise Nicholas said the campaign was little more than soft porn with nothing to do with clothing.

"The thing that angers me is in these shots this young woman is exposed but they are covering up the man. She hides his face, we don't know what he looks like but she is there in the nude.

"It is just soft porn, it has nothing to do with men's clothing at all."

Nicholas is an advocate for sexual assault survivors and rose to prominence after a public battle to have four policemen she said raped her when she was a teenager brought to justice.

She has since campaigned for women's rights.

She said the nude shots were unnecessary and sexualised the E Von Dadelszen brand.

"If the product is good it should sell itself," she said.

"I love the shoes but I don't think they need to sexualise women to sell them."

Nicholas' views were echoed by top PR woman Deborah Pead.

It is just soft porn, it has nothing to do with men's clothing at all.
Louise Nicholas

She said the use of provocative images might "generate traffic" to the website but would not necessarily increase sales.

"I really thought the industry had moved on from the sexualisation of women," she said.

"It feels like the 70s car show where they put the bikini clad woman on the bonnet of the car."

Pead said men might be aroused by the shots but that didn't mean they were going to part with cash.

"It is there as a traffic generator. I suggest no one would be looking at the clothes."

Pead said advertisers had a social responsibility not to exploit women.

"Responsible advertising can change attitudes and move stereotypes but as far as I am concerned this just reinforces one," she said.

"We have got a long way to go to settle the gender disparity and stop women from being disadvantaged."

Pead said the only time such shots would be appropriate was if the product was lingerie or beauty products and was being marketed to women.

Both Von Dadelszen and photographer Mara Sommer said Seven was shown as strong and confident in the series of photos with the male admiring her beauty.

"She is a very strong woman and strong character and that comes across in the photos," Sommer said.

Sommer said Seven was relaxed and happy during the shoot.

"She is very comfortable with her body and I would never have done that with a model if she wasn't."

Sommer had heard only positive things about the campaign.

Von Dadelszen, who is the partner of Love and Object jewellery store owner Constance Cummings, said the photography was "beautiful and presents an image of a strong, confident woman."

He said he was surrounded by women in his life "that I respect highly and are a constant source of inspiration to me."

Von Dadelszen said his campaign was nothing like the one pulled by jewellery brand I Love Ugly last year.

The local men's fashion label pulled jewellery adverts showing naked women following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority .

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 02 Oct 2016 00:29:10 Processing Time: 543ms