The new year is in full swing and the fashion industry is back to its rapid pace with plenty of newsworthy details being leaked every week. From collaborations to conversations to accusations, there is plenty of news to dissect. Unfortunately, the climate of sexual assault allegations which heated up last fall continued into 2018 with new reports coming out weekly. The fashion industry had remained mum on the subject for a little while but with the latest round of rumors, it is impossible to turn a blind eye any longer.
“Male models say Mario Testino and Bruce Weber sexually assaulted them” – The New York Times
The Bruce Weber allegations came out last year. He was “cancelled” for a lot of people who read the stories shared by the young male models who had been subject to his behavior. The New York Times article published last week just further solidified the claims. A new name, Mario Testino, was added into the mix. It’s sad to hear this because these men are two of fashion’s most prominent photographers who have shot everybody from models to the royal family, yet they have been behaving in an immoral way for decades and got away with it up until now. I feel like it has taken so long for the stories to break about these two photographers because of their friends in high places (literally every fashion magazine has worked with the pair at some stage) and the fact that they don’t look like your typical creep. Terry Richardson was almost too easy to bring down due to the fact that he looked like a sleazebag so it was easier for the allegations to stick. With Testino and Weber, some of fashion’s big names can’t seem to give up on them. In response to the New York Times exposé, Condé Nast revealed new guidelines for conduct on photoshoots (models will never be left alone with photographers, makeup artists etc.) and announced that they were not planning to work with either photographer for the foreseeable future.
It seems as though New York Fashion Week will soon be no more. Each season, another brand drops out to either show in another city or show at a different time. In the previous few years, New York has suffered some high profile losses like Proenza Schouler and Altuzarra. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alexander Wang is changing schedule and skipping fashion week, starting after February. In a new move, it was announced that Alexander Wang will be showing in June and December instead of February and September. Yes, it’s only one brand but the knock-on effects will likely be tremendous. In five years time, I predict fashion will be operating on an entirely different schedule than it currently does. The see-now, buy-now trend sparked the change and this move has only further solidified the fact that the traditional calendar is just not working anymore. Brands are revolting and refusing to stick to it, and now retailers are going to be left with no other option other than keep up with the changes.