Fashion brand faces criticism for Ozempic top debut at Berlin Fashion Week

Fashion brand faces criticism for Ozempic top debut at Berlin Fashion Week

The clubwear brand – known for its bold, statement designs – sparked widespread controversy over a single item of clothing that debuted at Berlin Fashion Week.

Namilia, led by designers Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl, stormed the runway on July 5 with its spring/summer 2025 collection titled “Good Girl Gone Bad.” Models strutted down the runway in repurposed vintage gold Ed Hardy pieces, transforming night-and-morning streetwear into Y2K-esque high-fashion. Mini skirts and trucker hats, tattooed with the popular brand’s famous 2000s fiery graphics, were paired with ripped lace and sheer tops, while stilettos, half-slit white dresses and cropped veils made for the ultimate grunge bride.

But amidst the array of naughty icons sporting slogans like “Fame Kills” and “Too Pretty for Rehab” on their black shopping bags was a statement that didn’t sit well with some fashion enthusiasts: “I Love Ozempic.”

The message supporting injections of semaglutide, prescribed by doctors as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, was printed on a white T-shirt worn by the model with darkly outlined lips and an embroidered sheer skirt revealing black underwear.

While Namilia has always emphasized that her clothing carries strong cultural and political messages, which is part of her mission to promote conversations about gender constructs and sex positivity, “I (heart) Ozempic” was not well-received online, with viewers questioning the intent and purpose of the apparent promotion of an unofficial weight loss drug that has become increasingly popular and has ultimately led to shortages for patients.

The model is wearing an Ozempic top from the Namilia Spring/Summer 2025 collection (Getty)

“The shirt is in bad taste,” one critic commented under a photo of the outfit on Instagram, while another agreed: “Ironically or not, the shirt is in bad taste.”

“Your brand is inconsistent, how can you ‘empower’ women by normalizing the use of a drug that is in short supply but that many people need to live healthy lives?” a third person asked.

“What exactly is the statement? ‘Let’s promote a rare drug used for weight loss but which is actually for diabetes so it’s harder for people with diabetes to get?'” added another.

However, supporters say the message on the T-shirt is part of the brand’s “meta-commentary” on Hollywood’s obsession.

“For us, fashion is a visual tool to express political and cultural views and spark conversations that reflect the current social landscape,” said Li, founder of Namilia Independent. “Our fascination with Ozempic culture manifests itself in the double standards of popular culture.”

“On the one hand, celebrities and their fans are willing to do anything to fit into the still-dominant popular culture ideal of the super-slim figure, but on the other hand, no one wants to admit to abusing medications to meet the often unrealistic expectations of current beauty standards.”

“For us, the I (heart) Ozempic top is part pop commentary and satire on this very timely and controversial topic,” Li continued. “With our SS25 collection themed – Good Girl Gone Bad – we explore the influence and pressures of fame and celebrity culture.”