Fashion brand Kimhēkim is facing backlash after using intravenous (IV) drip bags as accessories for its recent runway show during Paris Fashion Week. 

For the spring/summer 2020 show, the Paris-based brand featured models walking the runway holding IV bags similar to those found in hospitals and wearing bandages on their arms. 

In photos from the show, one model can be seen wearing a shirt that read “Sick” as she walked the runway holding the IV. 

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

From
15p
€0.18
$0.18
USD 0.27
a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

On Instagram, where the designer shared videos from the show, as well as an up-close picture of the Kimhēkim-branded IV bags, people have criticised the “tasteless” decision to use medical accessories and illness as a fashion statement. 

In addition to accusations of ableism, some said that brand was acting insensitively towards people who suffer from illnesses or disabilities. 

“What is this?? Being sick isn’t a fashion accessory,” one person commented. 

Another said: “This is NOT fashion. Being sick isn’t ‘trendy’ or ‘cool’”. 

“This is a reprehensible concept and deeply insensitive to all those who struggle with illness,” someone else commented. 

Others shared their own medical experiences in an effort to convey the issue with the brand glamorising illness. 

“As a person with multiple chronic illnesses, I am absolutely appalled that you would do this,” one person wrote. “You’re absolutely missing the mark. I hope no one supports this behaviour.” 

Shape Created with Sketch.
Best-dressed celebrities at Milan Fashion Week SS20

Shape Created with Sketch.
Best-dressed celebrities at Milan Fashion Week SS20

1/28 Iggy Pop

The punk musician wore a studded leather jacket paired with a graphic T-shirt and black skinny jeans for the Gucci show.

2/28 Hari Nef

The actor wore a blush pink short-sleeved top with a top handle Gucci handbag for the Italian label’s show.

3/28 A$AP Rocky

The musician wore a checked blazer with boxy shades and a Gucci satchel for the brand’s show on Sunday.

4/28 Sienna Miller

Miller was pictured on Gucci’s front row wearing sheer tights from the brand and an ivory silk shirt underneath a black dress complete with a peacock design on the neck.

5/28 Barbara Palvin and Dylan Sprouse

The model and actor duo both opted for classic tailoring for the Boss show on Sunday. Palvin chose all-white while Sprouse wore an electric blue suit.

6/28 Olivia Palermo

The fashion influencer was spotted at the Boss show on Sunday wearing a long brown leather skirt, white shirt and mustard yellow jacket.

7/28 Alexa Chung

The fashion designer and author sat on the front row at the Prada show on Wednesday wearing a pale blue smock shirt with floral embroidery.

8/28 A$AP Rocky

The musician was spotted at Prada wearing a navy blue suit consisting of shorts and a blazer.

9/28 Olivia Palermo

Palermo attended the Max Mara Show on Thursday wearing a brown and blue ensemble by the Italian fashion designer, featuring a satin skirt and dark pink, open-toe heels.

10/28 Halima Aden

The fashion model was pictured at the Max Mara show dressed in black, patterned, floor-length garment, accessorising with an over-sized, black jacket.

11/28 Hikari Mori

The model and granddaughter of Japanese designer Hanae Mori displayed her wild side at the Max Mara show, wearing a tiger-print, thigh-length jumper by the fashion designer.

12/28 Levante

The Italian singer was photographed prior to the Emporio Armani show on Thursday wearing a pair of sheer, tartan trousers, a denim, sleeveless top and a matching jacket. She accessorised with a pair of retro, red shades.

13/28 Celina Locks

The model opted for a suave look at the Emporio Armani show, wearing a light grey power suit and carrying a purse by the Italian luxury fashion label.

14/28 Valentina Bella

The Italian actor selected bold accessories to go with her checkered power suit, wearing a pair of red shades, carrying a red clutch bag and wearing a pair of black pumps.

15/28 Princess Mafalda Cecilia of Bulgaria

The member of royalty went for a Parisian look for the Emporio Armani fashion show on Thursday, wearing an oversized, white power suit and a black beret embossed with the fashion label’s name.

16/28 Alice Pagani

The actor was spotted on the front row of the Emporio Armani show wearing a black, belted jacket, mini shorts and a pair of matching strappy heels.

17/28 Tina Leung

Fashion industry insider Leung attended the Max Mara show wearing a patterned co-ord by the fashion designer.

18/28 Gala Gonzalez

The Spanish model and fashion designer was all smiles at the Max Mara show, wearing an oversized black jacket with tiger-print sleeves, black boots and adding a pop of colour with a mini orange handbag.

19/28 Caroline Daur

The entrepreneur showcased winter chic at the Max Mara show, wearing a a pair of white high-waisted trousers, a white, long-sleeved top, black boots and a black headscarf.

20/28 Nicole Kidman

The Big Little Lies actor wore a colourful long-sleeved dress to the Prada show. The gown itself featured intricate patterns in black, green and red and Kidman topped the look off with fuchsia lipstick.
The model wore a utilitarian khaki green two-piece to the Prada show. Harlow accessorised the look with high-heeled black biker boots.

22/28 Jeanne Damas

The Rouje founder wire a checked shirt dress to the Prada show.

23/28 Susie Lau

The fashion writer wore a mint green midi skirt complete with a red tulip design and a black lace cape. Lau added some eccentricity to her look by wearing grey socks underneath her emerald green peep-toe heels.

24/28 Anna Dello Russo

The Italian fashion titan wore a strapless blue floral dress for the Prada show.

25/28 Chiara Ferragni

Ferragni is a regular on the Frow at Milan Fashion Week. For the Prada show, she chose to wear a rose-covered shirt and a black midi skirt.

26/28 Anna Wintour

The American Vogue editor wore a deep crimson long-sleeves dress for the Prada show.

27/28 Wes Andreson and Juman Malouf

The revered filmmaker was pictured on the front row at the Prada show alongside his wife, author and illustrator Juman Malouf.

28/28 Regina King

The actor wore a fun pair of feathered black jeans to the Prada show, adding a simple white shirt on top.

1/28 Iggy Pop

The punk musician wore a studded leather jacket paired with a graphic T-shirt and black skinny jeans for the Gucci show.

2/28 Hari Nef

The actor wore a blush pink short-sleeved top with a top handle Gucci handbag for the Italian label’s show.

3/28 A$AP Rocky

The musician wore a checked blazer with boxy shades and a Gucci satchel for the brand’s show on Sunday.

4/28 Sienna Miller

Miller was pictured on Gucci’s front row wearing sheer tights from the brand and an ivory silk shirt underneath a black dress complete with a peacock design on the neck.

5/28 Barbara Palvin and Dylan Sprouse

The model and actor duo both opted for classic tailoring for the Boss show on Sunday. Palvin chose all-white while Sprouse wore an electric blue suit.

6/28 Olivia Palermo

The fashion influencer was spotted at the Boss show on Sunday wearing a long brown leather skirt, white shirt and mustard yellow jacket.

7/28 Alexa Chung

The fashion designer and author sat on the front row at the Prada show on Wednesday wearing a pale blue smock shirt with floral embroidery.

8/28 A$AP Rocky

The musician was spotted at Prada wearing a navy blue suit consisting of shorts and a blazer.

9/28 Olivia Palermo

Palermo attended the Max Mara Show on Thursday wearing a brown and blue ensemble by the Italian fashion designer, featuring a satin skirt and dark pink, open-toe heels.

10/28 Halima Aden

The fashion model was pictured at the Max Mara show dressed in black, patterned, floor-length garment, accessorising with an over-sized, black jacket.

11/28 Hikari Mori

The model and granddaughter of Japanese designer Hanae Mori displayed her wild side at the Max Mara show, wearing a tiger-print, thigh-length jumper by the fashion designer.

12/28 Levante

The Italian singer was photographed prior to the Emporio Armani show on Thursday wearing a pair of sheer, tartan trousers, a denim, sleeveless top and a matching jacket. She accessorised with a pair of retro, red shades.

13/28 Celina Locks

The model opted for a suave look at the Emporio Armani show, wearing a light grey power suit and carrying a purse by the Italian luxury fashion label.

14/28 Valentina Bella

The Italian actor selected bold accessories to go with her checkered power suit, wearing a pair of red shades, carrying a red clutch bag and wearing a pair of black pumps.

15/28 Princess Mafalda Cecilia of Bulgaria

The member of royalty went for a Parisian look for the Emporio Armani fashion show on Thursday, wearing an oversized, white power suit and a black beret embossed with the fashion label’s name.

16/28 Alice Pagani

The actor was spotted on the front row of the Emporio Armani show wearing a black, belted jacket, mini shorts and a pair of matching strappy heels.

17/28 Tina Leung

Fashion industry insider Leung attended the Max Mara show wearing a patterned co-ord by the fashion designer.

18/28 Gala Gonzalez

The Spanish model and fashion designer was all smiles at the Max Mara show, wearing an oversized black jacket with tiger-print sleeves, black boots and adding a pop of colour with a mini orange handbag.

19/28 Caroline Daur

The entrepreneur showcased winter chic at the Max Mara show, wearing a a pair of white high-waisted trousers, a white, long-sleeved top, black boots and a black headscarf.

20/28 Nicole Kidman

The Big Little Lies actor wore a colourful long-sleeved dress to the Prada show. The gown itself featured intricate patterns in black, green and red and Kidman topped the look off with fuchsia lipstick.
The model wore a utilitarian khaki green two-piece to the Prada show. Harlow accessorised the look with high-heeled black biker boots.

22/28 Jeanne Damas

The Rouje founder wire a checked shirt dress to the Prada show.

23/28 Susie Lau

The fashion writer wore a mint green midi skirt complete with a red tulip design and a black lace cape. Lau added some eccentricity to her look by wearing grey socks underneath her emerald green peep-toe heels.

24/28 Anna Dello Russo

The Italian fashion titan wore a strapless blue floral dress for the Prada show.

25/28 Chiara Ferragni

Ferragni is a regular on the Frow at Milan Fashion Week. For the Prada show, she chose to wear a rose-covered shirt and a black midi skirt.

26/28 Anna Wintour

The American Vogue editor wore a deep crimson long-sleeves dress for the Prada show.

27/28 Wes Andreson and Juman Malouf

The revered filmmaker was pictured on the front row at the Prada show alongside his wife, author and illustrator Juman Malouf.

28/28 Regina King

The actor wore a fun pair of feathered black jeans to the Prada show, adding a simple white shirt on top.

Although the brand has not commented publicly in response to the backlash, it has responded to individual Instagram comments with black hearts. 

The criticism comes after Gucci found itself involved in a similar controversy during its runway show at Milan Fashion Week for featuring a collection of straitjackets.

While debuting its spring/summer 2020 collection, which featured models wearing the garments formerly used in psychiatric hospitals, non-binary model Ayesha Tan Jones staged a protest by holding up their hands, where they’d written the words: “mental health is not fashion”.

In an Instagram post uploaded after the show, Jones explained they found Gucci’s design “hurtful and insensitive” as someone who had previously suffered with mental health. 

The model also accused the luxury brand of using mental health issues as “props for selling clothes in today’s capitalist climate” before describing the clothes as “vulgar, unimaginative and offensive”.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

The Independent has contacted Kimhēkim for comment.