29/03/2017
Involving allegations of sexual abuse, humiliation, racism and more.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

Anyone who works in the fashion industry will tell you that life as a model is not all it's cracked up to be. Just how bad it can be though, is slowly starting to emerge.

Earlier this month, casting director James Scully publicly accused Balenciaga of model mistreatment. In an Instagram post, he detailed how 150 girls were reportedly left waiting for over three hours in a dark staircase without light. According to Scully, during this time Balenciaga’s casting directors, Maida Gregori Boina and Rami Fernandes, left the building and went for lunch.

There seems to be some truth to the allegations, too, with models backing the reports and Balenciaga subsequently sacking Boina and Fernandes.

The event caused Models.com to send out a survey to models, which included the question: ‘How do you, the model, want to be treated?’

What followed was a series of first-person accounts, detailing the unjust working conditions many of these models have had to endure. Some excerpts as follows:

“I feel like we all are supposed to deal with the mistreatment” – Anonymous.

“For the first big show I walked, I waited about 17 hours for the fitting” – Anonymous. 

"During London Fashion Week 2016, I felt dizzy and sick at a 90 minute static presentation: I went off the stage and told the casting director that I can’t keep going because otherwise I might faint while another model was throwing up three feet away from me. She told me I have to go on-stage otherwise I’m not getting paid. I wasn’t paid anyway" – Sidney Gaston.

Aussie model, Fernanda Ly also shared her account of mistreatment.

“I was once shooting a lookbook where the stylist, helping me dress, used this chance to feel my body up much more than necessary and continued to do so throughout the entire shoot,” she details. “Countless times have I had to undress in undesirable public situations, but even now I can remember the disgusting feel of this man’s hands tracing my body.” 

Many more stories from the survey have been shared on Models.com, which you can read in full here.

models.com

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