Seafolly, one of Australia’s most celebrated and recognizable swimwear brands, is being boycotted after hiring a bearded, non-binary activist as its new ambassador.
The iconic bikini brand is known for its glamorous ad campaigns featuring some of the world’s most beautiful women including Gigi Hadid, Shanina Shaik, Lara Worthington, Miranda Kerr and Jesinta Franklin.
But Seafolly has sparked anger by hiring hairstylist Deni Todorovič, who was assigned a male gender at birth but uses they/them pronouns and identifies as non-binary and transgender.
Author and artist Alexandra Marshall said it feels like the fashion label is “making fun of women”.
‘Bye @seafolly. Never more. I have been buying swimsuits from you for many years. Never again,’ he posted on Twitter.
Another said that the brand ‘deserves to be canceled by real women’.
Non-binary activist Deni Todorovič (pictured) has been announced as the new ambassador for Australian swimwear brand Seafolly
Author and artist Alexandra Marshall (pictured) said it feels like the fashion label is “making fun of women.”
A third commented: ‘Boycott boycott boycott @seafolly deleting women IS NOT OKAY! Push your products, I’m done!
‘What the heck @seafolly? You are ashamed to make fun of women,” added a fourth.
While another stated: “After buying swimsuits from @seafolly for years I will be looking for another company to give my business to.”
Others were angry not just about the announcement, but that it came on the eve of International Women’s Day, March 8.
“Seriously who gave this the thumbs up on #IWD,” said one person.
‘Look now, they’re really just taking the p***. I will never buy this brand again and will throw away the pair I have.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid (pictured) is one of Seafolly’s best-known former faces
However, there was some support for the move, with a banner reading: “Did you know that trans people drink the same water and breathe the same air as you?”
‘You might want to consider this little puzzle.’
At the campaign shoot, Todorovič posed in a lime green Seafolly bikini bottom and a matching wrap.
They talked about making ‘history’ in a lengthy Instagram post over the weekend.
“This is the first time iconic Australian swimming giants @seafollyaustralia have worked with a trans brand ambassador/partner,” Deni said.
‘As the marketing director (of Seafolly) said in our kickoff meeting: ‘This is the first time of many more to come.’ I couldn’t be more honored!
Todorovič added: ‘We discussed the authentic partnership and have had some very exciting conversations about how the brand can work with the community. This is what the alliance looks like.
Todorovič’s role in Seafolly was celebrated by a host of celebrities, including former brand ambassador Jesinta Franklin.
Many shoppers also left positive comments on Seafolly’s Instagram page to celebrate their commitment to diversity.
‘As someone who hasn’t shopped at Seafolly for years, I’m going back now! I love seeing brands be inclusive and that’s where I want my money to go,” wrote one woman.
‘This is amazing to see, Seafolly. I love seeing brands pioneer in celebrating pride and inclusion,” added another.
Australian models Jesinta Franklin and Lara Worthington have also represented the brand
Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik (pictured) is another supermodel who has starred in Seafolly campaigns in the past.
Glamorous Miranda Kerr (pictured) was one of Seafolly’s first celebrity models in 2007
But some clients were less than impressed by Todorovič’s role.
‘This is a joke. We support diversity and people’s choices, but we don’t want to see the women’s clothes we want to buy on a man’s body…’ wrote one.
‘There are other ways to support the pride and choices of individuals, but not this way. Sincerely, one of your long-time loyal customers.
Another wrote: ‘As a woman this is not what I want to see in a bikini.
‘I will not buy this product. People need to come back to reality. Stop turning our world into a circus.
Due to the negative comments, Seafolly was forced to release a statement condemning the “hate language”.
“We are here to celebrate the Australian beach lifestyle and inspire each other to feel safe on the beach,” he said.
‘In this community, we do not tolerate abusive, offensive, hateful language, trolling, deliberate interruption of the discussion or spam.
“Please be respectful of each other’s differences and remember to always be kind.”
The 34-year-old man, who was assigned a male at birth but uses they/them pronouns, also identifies as transgender.
Todorovič’s involvement in the Seafolly campaign has caused backlash from customers.
Todorovič is also one of the national ambassadors for Bonds underwear.
Many women agreed with Seafolly’s stance, writing: ‘I’m so embarrassed for the fans in this comment section. Imagine writing horrible things because a person wearing a bathing suit bothers you.
Todorovič has become an increasingly formidable name in Australian fashion in recent years.
The gender-swapping socialite is also a national ambassador for Bonds underwear.
In 2021, Todorovič came under fire for turning Melbourne Fashion Week into a ‘pride parade’ while working on the event as a stylist and curator.
While being hired to work backstage at the event, Todorovič wowed onlookers by storming the runway wearing a pride flag and a T-shirt with ‘they’ on the front, which dwarfed the models at the fashion show.
The performance reportedly upset fashionistas at the time, with one guest saying that its political message “was being rammed down our throats.”
‘The show was all about Deni (Todorovič). The collection, (and) the designers who worked so hard to put it together, was an afterthought,” said an attendee.
In 2021, Todorovič was criticized for turning Melbourne Fashion Week into a ‘pride parade’ by storming the runway wearing an LGBT flag and a t-shirt with ‘they/them’ on the front.