Luxury fashion brand Christian Dior has reportedly replaced long-time brand ambassador Bella Hadid, known for her pro-Palestine stance, with Israeli model May Tager in its latest ad campaign, according to Turkish news outlet Yeni Safak.
The swap was reported later by an Israeli blog called Fashion Forward and has sparked calls for a boycott of the brand on social media. Bella and Dior have not officially commented on this alleged replacement, leading to some uncertainty about the accuracy of the reports.
Social media users are expressing outrage by using the hashtag #BoycottDior on social media while pointing out May’s Instagram posts from last week that feature the model prominently in Dior’s new holiday campaign. Bella has acknowledged in the past that her pro-Palestine stance has cost her many fashion contracts. Despite the recent rumours, the supermodel continues to use her online platform to raise awareness about Israeli atrocities in Palestine.
In an Instagram Story on Wednesday, the fashion figure asked, “What is the point of international law anymore if [it will not be] abided by? The IOF and Israeli just get away with anything these days.” Next to a video showing white phosphorus bombs striking Palestinians in Gaza, Bella wrote, “Children, babies, families, human beings [are] being burned and suffocated alive.” She furthered, “What is the excuse now? Whoever tries to justify this kind of treatment, you are a disgrace to humanity.”
Bella, who is of Palestinian descent, has been Dior’s brand ambassador since 2016 and has used her celebrity platform to advocate for Palestinian rights. The supermodel drew flak for remaining silent for several weeks following the October 7 attack by Hamas and Israel’s subsequent military actions in Gaza while sister Gigi Hadid openly denounced Israel.
Taking to Instagram, Bella penned a long note in support of Palestine, requesting forgiveness for her silence. She also confirmed reports of having received “daily” death threats after the Hadids had their phone numbers leaked. Sharing how these events made her family fear for their safety, the half-Palestinian celebrity asserted that she “cannot be silenced any longer” and that “fear is not an option.”
This is not the first time Dior has faced pressure to end collaboration with Bella. Rumours of the fashion house severing ties with her made rounds earlier in 2021 since she started raising her voice for Palestine. The 27-year-old marched alongside thousands in a pro-Palestine rally calling out the Israeli aggression, apartheid, settler colonialism, terrorism, and genocide.
Soon after, several alleged the supermodel was losing out on major Dior deals owing to her condemnation of Israel’s atrocities. Reports even surfaced about Dior cutting off ties with the model over her pro-Palestine stance.
However, the rumours were shut down when fashion watchdog Diet Prada spoke up, elaborating why the brand’s affiliation with Bella is still intact. “Multiple sources within LVMH have confirmed that the French luxury brand is standing with supermodel Bella Hadid, who has been the face of Dior Beauty since 2016,” the infamous page shared.
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