Last week, an ad featuring babies in black Armani diapers, romping on a bearskin rug, had some people thinking that the design company had made its first foray into the Russian infant market. But as the Huffington Post reports, the diapers were counterfeits created by stunt artist Petro Wodkins. He had a friend embroider diapers with the Armani logo, staged a photo shoot with a bunch babies, and created a brilliantly identical fake site at Armanirussia.ru to sell them.
While the items didn’t create the same spending frenzy as the royal baby swaddling blanket, people kind of bought the prank, which was Wodkins’s way of criticizing our consumer obsessions: “I think we see things close to Armani Diapers all the time. People sacrifice and abandon what they deep down think is right, for a higher purpose … I’d say deep down everyone is feeling that a scarf for $1,000 is wrong, but the scarf serves a higher purpose — to give you what you feel you need,” Wodkin told HuffPo. As far as fashion/art pranks go, the brilliant execution of the indistinguishable mirror Armani site puts this hoax right up there with Elmgreen and Dragset’s fake Prada Marfa. Unfortunately, Armani intends to take legal action against Wodkins.