Back in February this year, Dior’s A/W 2018 collection featured an updated version of their iconic saddle bag designed by John Galliano back in 2000. The bag was worn by the likes of Paris Hilton, Beyoncé and Carry Bradshaw in Sex in the City.

Paris Hilton (2002 Getty Images), Carry Bradshaw (HBO via savoir flair) and Beyoncé (2018 via mefeater) holding their Dior saddle bags

Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director, is responsible for bringing the bag back into the Dior collections and it retains many similarities with the original which is almost 20 years old. It still includes the gold C & D charms and clasps but with updated black calfskin and Dior logo print on canvas textiles and a slightly larger dimension to accommodate modern phones. Every bag is hand stitched by Dior’s team of leather craftsmen and you can watch them at work in Vogue’s video here.
Controversy started when Instagram fashion watchdog @Diet_prada noticed a large number of influencers upload photos featuring the bag including the head of Instagram fashion partnerships herself, Eva Chen. When the bag turns up in loads of photos at the exact same moment… something stinks.

A post shared by Eva Chen (@evachen212) on

A post shared by Camila Coelho (@camilacoelho) on

A post shared by A Y L I N (@aylin_koenig) on

The problem is not the photos themselves but the captions which did not indicate that the photos were sponsored. Some instagrammers have rectified this by adding the hashtag #suppliedbydior but others still haven’t made it clear if this was a paid campaign or not.

Diet Prada posted the “gifting request” which was sent to the influencers and the document included the fact that this was a coordinated effort to have 100 posts go up at the same time. It was then noted by Diet Prada that this breaks the Federal Trade Commission’s endorsement guidelines. If you are promoting a product on Instagram you are required to make that fact clear and the FTC has issued warnings to instagrammers in the past who have broken these rules.

Chen who works for Instagram replied to one of the comments saying she had returned them bag and had made no material gain from the post. Nevertheless this is a worrying trend if large companies are able to start bypassing trading rules.