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Gucci bodybuilding
Gucci Pre-Fall 2019Courtesy of Gucci

5 times fashion got into bed with a bodybuilder

From Alessandro Michele booking a Greek god at Gucci, to Robert Mapplethorpe’s 1980s muse, we round up fashion’s best bodybuilding moments

For very obvious reasons, fashion has always had a complicated relationship with how it looks. As an entire industry centred around clothing the body, what’s underneath those clothes often attracts as much analysis as the garments themselves. From Jeremy Allen White in his pants for Calvin Klein, to the decline of curve models on the runway for AW24, the fashion industry knows just how much body politics can affect its image, despite often claiming the opposite to avoid any responsibility in the matter.

Despite this, a great example of how fashion uses bodies to create meaning is through its interactions with the world of bodybuilding. The bodybuilder physique occupies a particularly interesting place in fashion – although muscles are seen as conventionally attractive to many, an overly muscled physique is not fashion’s go-to body type, often opting for something a lot slimmer. That’s why, when brands do get into bed with a bodybuilder, they’re often making a wider point about how we view the world around us. That’s not to say that these brands aren’t aware that these kinds of bodies can be considered conventionally attractive, but also that their very presence can represent some sort of masculine excess that’s ripe for exploration.

Below, we round up five times that fashion brands have explored the world of bodybuilding, whether that’s to reflect on ideas of status and power, or to poke fun at a masculinist ideal.