Celebrity designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is facing a huge backlash online over jewellery ads featuring same-sex and heterosexual couples wearing his Royal Bengal Mangalsutra collection.
The ads showcase the designer's "Intimate Fine Jewellery" collection and some photos show models in intimate apparel wearing a mangalsutra, which is a traditional necklace worn by women in India after their wedding.
The ad campaign did not go down well with a section of social media with several users accusing the designer of hurting sentiment and denigrating the mangalsutra.
"What are you exactly advertising? No one will wear this jewellery now coz you have shown the world that if I wear that jewellery I must be some cheapo! please take care of your campaigns (sic)," a user wrote in the comments section on Instagram.
Bizarre #Sabyasachi. He just gave an open invitation for getting himself trolled big time ! The ad agencies are going overboard to hurt public sentiments …get additional publicity for the product by creating some kind of controversy! This is the plan..ppl ! Don't succumb !- Wg Cdr Gitika Jasrotia (R) ???????? (@gitika9) October 28, 2021
"May be the person who is financing #Sabyasachi work -believes in nudity! Such filthy Ads depicts 'mazboori 'of its maker, nothing else. Shameful," another comment read.
The designer was also slammed for "demeaning" something as sacred as the mangalsutra".
Mangalsutra looks like this #Sabyasachi- Sheetal Chopra ???????? (@SheetalPronamo) October 27, 2021
It's not a random piece of fashion jewellery, it indicates the love and commitment the husband and wife have towards each other. pic.twitter.com/HB3r4Aa4A4
The Kolkata-based designer did receive support from a section of the internet.
So the latest target of the Hindutva hate brigade is designer #Sabyasachi & his eponymous #brand..!- Roopali Srivastava (@RoopaliSriv) October 28, 2021
They have zeroed in on one in a series of ads for a new jewellery line & are apoplectic about it..
Because if it wasn't for this ad, they'd have totally shopped #Sabyasachi...
#Sabyasachi , this designer guy has everyone's attention now! Doesn't matter if this ad is pretty deplorable— Shiv Kumar Sinha (@ShivKum88936191) October 28, 2021
This is not the first time Sabyasachi Mukherjee has been trolled on social media.
In August, he had to put out an official statement after his collection launched online was fully "sold out" in India and global markets, and people complained that everything was beyond their reach.
"It's why I designed an extensive range, so everyone could get something. This would also mean giving unlimited access to our Bengal Tiger logo, something that we hold very close to us, it's almost sacred. A lot of marketing folks would consider this strategy harakiri for a luxury brand, but I believe that sustainable success never comes from the mind, always from the heart," Sabyasachi wrote.
Days ago, on October 19, Indian clothing brand Fabindia withdrew an advertisement for a clothing collection - called 'Jashn-e-Riwaaz' - after senior BJP leaders accused it of 'defacing' Diwali by linking the festival to an Urdu term.