Nazi pink triangle reappears in Paris men’s fashion week

The latest men's line by French fashion brand Mugler features the upside-down pink triangle used to identify homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps

Nazi pink triangle reappears in Paris men’s fashion week
25 January 2013

This year’s Paris Fashion Week saw a reappearance of a former Nazi symbol in a trendy fashion label’s menswear presentation.

French fashion brand Bugler incorporated into its latest men’s line the inverted pink triangle, a badge originally sewn onto the garments of convicted homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps.

Reclaimed as a symbol of gay pride since the 1970s, the pink triangle used in Mugler’s latest men’s collection was the only dash of color along highlighter green and neon blue in a predominantly monochromatic collection. 

There were mixed reactions online to the stylist’s use of the former Nazi identification badge. On Twitter, greenbrotherrussell wrote: ‘I love how the pink triangle has been reclaimed in a beautiful way’, while IloveDiorHomme posted: ‘Am I the only one here shocked by the use of that pink triangle???’

For decades the pink triangle has been reclaimed by the LGBT community to represent the gay rights movement. Every year for San Francisco Gay Pride, a one-acre inverted pink triangle is displayed on the city’s Twin Peaks overlooking the Castro District. In the late 1980s the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) used the sign along with the slogan ‘SILENCE = DEATH’ to promote AIDS prevention and treatment.

This is not the first time Formichetti incorporates the inverted pink triangle in his design aesthetic. The pink triangle features throughout Lady Gaga’s Born This Way music video, for which Formichetti contibuted in style direction. Born This Way was written to empower the LGBT community with lyrics including verses like ‘Don’t be a drag, just be a queen’ and ‘no matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian transgender-life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive’.

Backstage at the Mugler show Formichetti referenced ‘the ability to become someone else in the digital world’ as an influence in this collection, an ability the Italian-Japanese designer is well-acquinated with as a stylist, designer and prolific Instagrammer. Formichetti’s website home page is a collage of his photos taken on the social networking site that present his multi-faceted existence as a fashion creative and world traveller.

Style.com’s Matthew Scheier reviewed the Mugler collection online saying: ‘Nicola Formichetti and Romain Kremer’s latest show seemed to be saying "I want you for the Mugler army”’. Scheier’s observation is based on the military details in the coats and trousers resembling bullet-proof vests and combat-ready outfits for a soldier in the not-too-distant future.

Formichetti became Mugler’s creative director in September 2010 and released the brand’s first menswear collection in 2011.

Check out below a video from Mugler’s 2013 Fall/Winter menswear presentation, followed by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way music video.

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