New York Fashion Week Joins #MeToo Movement
New York Fashion Week started on Thursday and for the first time, the models were granted cubicles to change in. This move was prompted by the sexual harassment allegations that started in Hollywood and filtered into the fashion industry with male models accusing ace photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Webber of sexual harassment.
British model Karen Elson once said, “I believe a separation between privacy for models getting dressed and anyone filming or taking photos is a must. I cannot tell you, in my younger days, how many times I would catch photographers taking photos of me getting undressed, or that I was standing in nothing but a nude thong for extended periods of time in a room surrounded by people, feeling extremely exposed.”
Another model who has spoken up against sexual harassment in the fashion industry is Sports Illustrated cover girl Kate Upton. She accused the co-founder of the luxury brand Guess of sexual harassment.
Upton said of the ordeal, “despite doing everything I could physically do to avoid his touch throughout the meeting, he continued to touch me in a very dominating and aggressive way, grabbing my thighs, my arms to pull me closer, my shoulders to pull me closer, my neck, my breasts, and smelling me. He then told Yu Tsai to leave us alone. I was able to send a quick text to Yu Tsai asking him to stay. He did, but that did not stop Paul’s constant grabbing. I was extremely shaken, surprised and scared. At one point he forcibly grabbed the back of my head so that I could not move and started kissing my face and my neck. I remember not wanting to say ‘get off of me’ because I didn’t want to open my mouth to say anything because I didn’t want him to be able to put his tongue in my mouth. I had two options: do everything I could to wiggle away and avoid his pursuit, or punch the CEO of Guess. So I decided to just wiggle away.”
After the incident, Upton said that Mr Marciano called her ‘disgusting and told an assistant: “get that fat pig off my set.”
Upton worked with Guess from 2010 to 2011 and when she was offered 400,000 dollars to return she declined.
A lot of designers will also be joining the #metoo movement, showcasing clothes that are political. With more people speaking out and things being put in place to curb and eradicate sexual harassment, the future is looking bright.