return icon Vietnamnet.vn

'Everyone passes the buck': despite #MeToo, fashion has a way to go

Industry insiders say progress has been made but problem of sexual abuse has not gone away

{keywords}

 

Some of the fashion industry’s most feted photographers, including Mario Testino, Bruce Weber and Patrick Demarchelier, have lost huge contracts as a result of #MeToo – despite their denials of sexual exploitation allegations.

Yet two years after the movement began, sources have told the Guardian that while significant progress has been made, there are still “repeat culprits” at work.

The #MeToo movement prompted hundreds of accusations of harassment and assault against well-known industry figures, casting a shadow over a world where the accused appeared to have been hiding in plain sight. It prompted assurances from all echelons of the industry that practices would be revised, but there are those who argue that the problem has not gone away and there is still a long way to go.

“Some big names have disappeared but there are still photographers who are big flirts and really push it,” says Cyril Brulé, the chair of France’s National Union of Modelling Agencies and founder of Viva Model Management. Reports of photographers harassing models on Instagram for dates, becoming obsessed with their private lives and being aggressive to get the shots they want are among the complaints still being received.

While Brulé says his team will not allow models on its books to work with some photographers and briefs them on what is not acceptable, he says it is difficult to achieve widespread control, especially when some of the brands booking the offenders are often small, new companies who “have no idea” about their reputation.

Vanessa Friedman, the fashion director at the New York Times whose January 2018 investigation named Testino and Weber – who have both denied the allegations levelled against them – said: “We are at a reflection point and it isn’t easy or simple and I think it is going to take a lot of wrestling and mistakes and reminders.”

Having found during her research that everyone “passes the buck”, Friedman is resolute that all parts of the industry need to identify their complicity.

“The modelling agencies say it’s the brands who book the photographers, the brands say it’s the stylists responsibility because they want to work with [certain] photographers, the photographers say it’s the agent’s responsibility as they should be protecting the models ... if every part of the supply chain, which is complicated and convoluted, doesn’t take responsibility for their own actions and space, then it isn’t going to change,” she said.

Friedman’s team was not alone in exposing alleged abusers. In October 2017, the model Cameron Russell took a stand when she shared stories of abuse from more than 60 models on her Instagram account with the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse. Harrowing accounts dated back years and ranged from suggestive and uncomfortable language to models being raped on set.

The Boston Globe’s spotlight team early last year revealed the names of 25 fashion industry professionals who had been accused of sexual misconduct. It spoke with more than 50 models, 60% of whom said they had been “touched inappropriately during work-related situations, the violations ranging from unwanted kissing to rape”. All of the men accused denied the allegations against them.

Since the #MeToo movement began, there have been a number of safeguards put in place to prevent sexual abuse as well as structures to support alleged victims. In early 2018, the owners of Vogue, Condé Nast, released a set of guidelines for photoshoots that prohibit “sexual advances or propositions” and “any type of sexual activity or contact”.

The Model Alliance (MA) – formed by the model Sara Ziff in 2012 – received more than 100 calls to its hotline between October 2017 and July 2018 reporting sexual harassment and assault, and in May 2018 launched The Respect Programme, a legally binding agreement to protect models and end sexual harassment within the industry.

Meanwhile, in September 2017, the LVMH and Kering published the Model Charter, which became a central mandate in making “models [feel] that the clients were caring about them for the first time”, according to Brulé, who helped draft it. But, he adds, the charter’s own hotline was dropped as it was not used – from what he perceives as a continued fear from models of being blacklisted by brands.

Jeni Rose, the senior vice-president of IMG Models, who also consulted on the charter, said the #MeToo movement presented an “opportunity for us to extend these protections beyond our own client base and to encourage the professionalisation of the industry as a whole”.

“Our conversations with industry stakeholders like LVMH, Kering and Condé Nast have led to tangible measures to protect talent – a first for the industry, and an important step toward ideological and behavioural change.”

She adds: “We have heard that a greater awareness of and attention to standards has percolated throughout the industry and models’ work environments, and that talent feel more empowered to call out behaviour that might have previously been ignored.” theguardian.com

MORE NEWS

Central bank not tighten real estate credit: Deputy Governor

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has never issued any documents or statements ordering credit for real estate be tightened, Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said on February 8.

Vietnamese Prime Minister starts official visit to Singapore

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse, and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation arrived in Changi Airport on February 8 afternoon, starting a three-day official visit to Singapore.

Businesses discuss ways to overcome challenges in 2023

Warned that uncertainties will still exist in 2023, businesses need to prepare well to weather the storm.

Vietnam's bond market remains quiet this year

The scale of debt in the corporate bond market is less than 15 per cent of GDP.

Organ trafficking in Vietnam driven by high demand, low rate of donation: experts

A conference on organ donation registration and the prevention of human organ and tissue trafficking was held on Monday.

VCCI proposes allowing businesses to set fuel retail prices

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has written to the Government suggesting fuel retail prices be decided by businesses based on supply and demand to prevent fuel shortages.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES FEBRUARY 8/2023

Vietnam puts children at centre of development policies, strategies: Ambassador

Gov’t issues action plan to realize Hanoi’s development vision until 2045

The Government has issued an action plan to realize Politburo’s resolution on the objectives for Hanoi’s development until 2030, with a vision to 2045.

Commercial sidewalk use may be charged by HCMC authorities

HCMC is planning to allow the paid use of sidewalks for commercial purposes such as vending goods or parking if these business activities leave a space of at least 1.5 meters wide for pedestrians.

CAAV advises caution when buying air tickets

The Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) has received feedback on the fact that passengers have to buy air tickets higher than the specified prices on domestic routes, especially during the peak of the Lunar New Year (Tet).

Prime Minister leaves Hanoi for official visits to Singapore, Brunei

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam left Hanoi at noon on February 8 for official visits to Singapore and Brunei from February 8-11.

US war veteran wishing to return wartime diary to Vietnamese family

Pater Mathews, a US war veteran, has emailed relevant agencies of Ha Tinh province, central Vietnam, expressing his desire to fly to Vietnam and return a Vietnamese martyr’s diary he came across decades ago to the martyr’s family.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 8/2023

January payment transactions via national public service portal valued at 11.8 mln USD

Vietnam needs new products, services to reach tourism targets

To realise the targets of attracting 110 million tourists and earning some 650 trillion VND (27.5 billion USD) in revenue this year, Vietnam is recommended to develop more products and services to offer new experiences to visitors.

PM Chinh’s Singapore visit expected to advance bilateral trade ties

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s Singapore visit from February 8-10 aims to affirm the determination to elevate the bilateral economic ties to a new height in the context of many free trade agreement (FTAs) coming into force.
back_to_top