‘Skinny’ T-shirt designer defends controversial work
Published Friday, June 27, 2014 2:30PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, June 27, 2014 7:11PM PDT
The designer of a controversial T-shirt that was pulled from Hudson’s Bay Company store shelves this week is defending his work.
The T-Shirt, which reads “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” was criticized by eating disorder experts for promoting an unhealthy message about food.
Designer Christopher Lee Sauvé told CTV News the message, which was an infamous statement made by supermodel Kate Moss in 2008, is actually meant to point out what he calls the absurdity of fashion.
“I was like, ‘This is such a ridiculous statement,’” Sauvé said. “If you’re skinny and you’re not eating and you’re trying to promote that, you’re not getting any nutrition. Zero calories. And this was the point that I was trying to get across, was that the statement itself is absurd.”
The Vancouver-raised designer said he never intended to offend anybody with the T-shirt.
“I have many friends that struggle with anorexia, and it’s a very sensitive subject for me and I would never ever want to influence anybody,” he said. “If you look at any photo shoots or anything that I do, it’s actually the exact opposite of that.”
Sauvé, who worked for Vancouver-based counter-culture magazine Adbusters for two years, said he was bombarded by hate mail after the story broke. He issued a public statement defending his work, saying he creates artwork that tends to be sarcastic.
“It was the most exciting part of my career to be told I would be in Hudson’s Bay, and to be tormented over Twitter and the news without being interviewed or asked or researched…was heartbreaking for me,” he said. “It’s hard as an artist because you’re trying to put out a message, and if somebody doesn’t get the message, you can email me, call me, ask me, or look online and look at some of the other work I’ve done to make the connection before calling me names online.”
While many criticized HBC and Sauvé for promoting anorexia and bulimia, some took to Twitter to defend the design.
Sauvé said he hopes more people will come around when it comes to the shirt.
“I apologize if I offended anybody. I would never want to do that, and the least of my intentions is to do that. The only intention that I want to get across is that it’s a piece of artwork,” he said “Even though it’s T-shirts and they’re selling in a department store, that it is my own artwork. It is what I do for a living. I wish for people just to be able to see the other side of things and not just take everything one-sided.”
The T-shirt is no longer available for purchase HBC’s online store or on store shelves.