Why are these #MeToo fashion moments being brushed aside?
It all started with British model Owen Mooney's viral TikTok videos exposing predatory behavior from one of fashion's biggest names, Alexander Wang. In 2017, he claimed that he was groped by the 37-year-old designer at an NYC nightclub. “Stand with #UsToo,” he pleads. Shit Model Management, “a model exposing the truth” on Instagram, reposted his story then further amplified by “fashion watchdog duo” Diet Prada, both groups advocating for accountability within the industry.
Since then, many have come forward, many anonymous users who claim to have been drugged by the designer leading to blacked-out nights or have had their genitals or bodies exposed by Wang. Many of his victims claim to be younger than him. His alleged misconduct has been discussed as early as 2017 on social media, within the trans community.
In Mooney's Instagram, he writes, “#UsToo is a response to the Hollywood silence, it is not to diminish the important message and work of #MeToo. What victims need more than ever is to be heard and believed. We should be supported alongside #MeToo and importantly backed by the people in fashion and Hollywood. But instead it’s radio silence.” The designer's long list of influential celebrity pals—from Kaia Gerber to the Kardashians and Lady Gaga—have not issued any statements of support for the victims. Some of the biggest leading fashion news outlets like Vogue and Elle surprisingly have failed to report on the topic.
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“Wangover.” What first was a clever play on “Wang” and “makeover” is now a public plea to hold the designer accountable for his vulgar behavior. On his Instagram account, Wang fully denies the allegations, claiming that “these baseless allegations were started on social media by sites which repeatedly disregarded the value and importance of evidence or fact-checking.” Many users online believe otherwise.
When will the Terry Richardsons, Bruce Webers and Mario Testinos of the fashion industry finally be held accountable? Lines and boundaries are blurred so frequently (see: Emily Ratajkowski’s essential essay Buying Myself Back on The Cut) that we only hope this is the beginning of a reckoning.
Images Diet Prada
Art Alexandra Lara