Craig Green Tools Butt Plug Fashion Trend NSFW Burberry Diesel

The Butt Plug-ification of fashion

The Butt Plug-ification of fashion

by Stella Hughes
2 min

In fashion, sex sells. Butt recently, it’s sex toys that are plugging the market with their money-making influence. Just ask Craig Green and Burberry. Last month, Burberry debuted its Spear Earring on Instagram, and everyone thought the same thing: “I love these… earrings!” 

As predicted, everyone actually ran to the comments to say one thing in varying degrees of literalness: “these earrings bear a striking resemblance to a butt plug.” A week later, Craig Green dropped a six-strong set of Jumbo Wooden Tools, which had a similar viral moment. And, just two days ago, Burberry debuted two further iterations of the rearrings.

Whilst the brands have actively kept things ambiguous in their choice of names for these products, it’s clear that both brand and consumer know that they’re designed to replicate butt plugs. So why not just call it what it is?

The most obvious (and boring) answer is to boost engagement. Both brands know that ‘misnaming’ the butt-plug-adjacent products on social media will drive people straight to the comments to A) check they’re seeing the same thing as everyone else, and B) let everyone know that they know what’s up. And this it did.

But we need to dig a little deeper. Will the increased engagement that pushing these products generates translate into an uptick in sales?

Generating noise around a product obviously brings the brand to the forefront of people’s minds as well as creating a dialogue around both product and brand – but how viable provocation and controversy are as business plans is debatable. One member of Culted’s community drew attention to this dichotomy by offering a notable take: “if you can’t design things people actually want to wear, design butt plugs.”

However, others disagree, suggesting that sales aren’t the point: arguing that the sexual ambiguity and butt plug-ification is fun, and it works to make fashion a less serious industry at large. Harnessing sex (and sex toys) is a hugely successful tactic for some fashion brands – take Diesel, a brand which has sexuality woven into its DNA, and previously sent out butt plug invites to its show’s attendees. 

Sex in fashion is nothing new. But as brands become more submissive to all things NSFW, will our perception of the brand’s image and intention alter? Should we champion the kinky side of fashion, let these product plugs fly under the radar, or put a stopper on the hole thing?

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