How one recovering addict is trying to stop Moschino from glamorizing drug use


At the Moschino show at Milan Fashion Week, models walked the runway in knit dresses covered in a pill print pattern, carrying purses and backpacks sometimes looked like they were covered in plastic pills or even pill bottles. 

Getty Images
Getty Images

Designer Jeremy Scott, Moschino's current creative director, even showed off phone cases that look like prescription pill bottles. 

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Since the collection's release, people have had questions about what exactly Scott was trying to promote here. According to an interview with Yahoo, Scott insisted that he was merely influenced by the book Valley of the Dolls. And in that book, "dolls" is a euphemism for pills, which are abused by the book's main characters. 

But Randy Anderson, who works as an alcohol and drug counselor in Minneapolis and is in long term recovery from substance abuse himself, isn't taking the collection lightly. Anderson just launched a petition asking people to boycott Moschino and Saks Fifth Avenue until they halt sales of the pill-themed items. 

Anderson's argument: By selling high-end purses and dresses, the designer could be inadvertently glamorizing drug use.

"These accessory items you are choosing to market and sell to the public for profit, which include the Pill Bottle Shoulder Bag and Capsule Crossbody Bag, will most likely promote more drug use," Anderson wrote. "Do you have any idea of the message your company is sending to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a drug overdose? ... Do you have no moral responsibility in what type of products your company promotes for public use?"

Already, Anderson's petition has caused Nordstrom to pull the line from its online store, with the company sending a one-sentence message notifying him that the retailer will no longer be selling the line.

But still, Moschino and Saks Fifth Avenue continue to sell the line, which includes a large dress printed with one large prescription pill bottle, as well as a sweater covered in Jeremy Scott's multicolored pill print. In fact, Moschino continues to defend the collection. 

Saks Fifth Avenue

"There was never any intent to promote prescription drug abuse," the company told "The Moschino capsule collection was inspired by a play on the word 'capsule' translated literally as a collection of 'capsule-themed' products. A lesser exposed but equally relevant piece of the collection clearly states 'Just say MoschiNO' referencing the 'Just Say No' anti-drug campaign." 

But still, for Anderson, who Mic has reached out to for comment, that's not enough, especially given the statistics on drug-related deaths in the United States. In 2014, drug overdoses hit a record high with 47,000 deaths. In 2015, drug overdoses became the leading cause of injury-related deaths, outnumbering motor vehicle deaths and homicides. 

And here is Jeremy Scott, designing and selling things like this for Moschino: 

Saks Fifth Avenue

Anderson remains adamant that  line to be removed from Moschino stores and online, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue stores too. 

"I implore you to immediately remove these items and their images from any and all sales locations," Anderson wrote. "Until these items and images are removed, I - and all those I know - will not patronize your business. In fact, I will be sure to tell everyone or anyone I come in contact with that they should not do business with any company that so blatantly promotes drug use and perpetuates the stigma of addiction."