clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Artist Behind the Armani Diaper Hoax Speaks

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Those Armani diapers that convinced some of the more credulous corners of the fashion blogosphere that Armani was making €23 branded underwear for babies to shit in? Total fakes. The prank was apparently engineered by a Russian artist named Petro Wodkins.

And his assistant emailed us to 'fess up.

Hey Jenna,

My name is Lisa and I'm the assistant to the Russian artist Petro Wodkins. This week there's been a lot of talk about the new Armani Diapers, media all over the world talked about this.

The thing is, it was all an art piece by Petro Wodkins on the topic of global consumerism. No one knows it was Petro who did it and especially Armani are very eager to find out, since they want to shut the page, www.armanirussia.ru, down. Petro really likes you and asked me to contact you to offer you the story first, if you are interested I can arrange for an interview.

Here's some links:
http://www.20min.ch/panorama/news/story/29332970
http://www.hintmag.com/post/emporio-armani-makes-23-diapers-for-russian-babies--discuss--july-09-2013-2129
http://www.welt.de/vermischtes/article117899527/Windeln-fuer-russische-Millionaers-Babys.html

Any questions, just ask me!

Best Regards,
Lisa Kirsch

Minutes after receiving this, a colleague at another fashion blog forwarded us an email. "This really doesn't fit for me," she said, but... Enclosed was Kirsch's email, verbatim. Apparently the Huffington Post bit, because the site has published an interview with Wodkins where he talks about how he made the Armani mirror site, created the prank product, and shot the hoax ad. (Wodkins, or people working for him, also seeded prominent blogs with "reader tips" of pictures of the ads supposedly running in Russian Tatler — courtesy of Photoshop). "The fashion industry is pushing the boundaries for consumerism," Wodkins said in an email. "I wanted to see what happened if I pushed the boundaries for them. To see if anyone would react."

— Jenna Sauers

· Armani Diapers Hoax Staged By Artist Petro Wodkins As Message Against Consumerism
[HuffPo]
· Is Armani Selling Diapers in Russia? [Jezebel]
· All Armani Diaper Coverage [Racked]