And Now They’re Sorry: Ralph Lauren Apologized for Skinny Model Photoshop

By Matt Van Hoven 

There’s a saying widely used in business, and elsewhere, that people use when they want to do something they know could potentially get them in trouble: “do it now, and ask forgiveness later.” That seems to have been Ralph Lauren’s m.o. regarding the use of a heavily-photoshopped image of Filippa Hamilton, pictured here (image via Snarkerati)

In a statement published by the DailyMail, a Ralph Lauren representative said,


“‘For over 42 years, we have built a brand based on quality and integrity.

‘After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.

‘We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.'”

Before I came to New York, I spent a very brief period at a small midwestern boutique where I helped digitally manipulate an image for a national beer campaign. The model we had worked with had an attractive figure, but to get the ‘right feel’, my CD said, her frame needed to be modified. The woman’s silhouette would later be modified to look like a glass of beer, and it was my job to add some breast here, shave some hip there. The end result was a markedly curvaceous woman, not anything like the real thing, who would never have recognized herself as the glass of beer she’d later see on billboards. Thoughts?

Note: There were some heavy-handed legal tactics used against Boing Boing, who initially posted the image. RL attempted to claim copyright infringement, to which BB responded: fair use. They’ll win. Click over to DailyMail to read about that.

More:Ralph Lauren Gets a Bit Overzealous with Photoshop