Photographer Oliviero Toscani’s photograph on a billboard.
NOTE: Photograph edited for content.
With a shocking photograph of a naked anorexic woman, shot by Oliviero Toscani, the eternal enfant terrible of fashion photography, Nolita’s is the latest attempt to employ a formula that Toscani helped invent with Benetton in the 1980s: the use of provocative, socially conscious images to help hawk products. (And, in theory, the images attempt to accomplish the inverse as well: using consumerism to try to raise public awareness.) In the past, Toscani has used photographs of AIDS victims and death-row inmates in Benetton ads. But this time, the message is also targeted at the very industry that is selling the goods. The problem of eating disorders has long plagued the fashion world, with the proliferation of super-thin models whom critics say not only harm themselves, but establish unhealthy role models for young female consumers. Criticism peaked last year when a 21-year-old Brazilian model died from the effects of anorexia. – [TIME]