Patrick Demarchelier is among 25 fashion industry professionals who have been accused of sexual misconduct in an extensive report conducted by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team. The photographer has denied the allegations, referring to the claims as “ridiculous”.
More than 50 female and male models spoke to the Globe to discuss episodes of mistreatment suffered during their careers, with some speaking anonymously – asking to do so for fear of reprisal – while others, such as Abbey Lee and Coco Rocha, are named. Sixty per cent of those interviewed reported that they had been “touched inappropriately during work-related situations, the violations ranging from unwanted kissing to rape”.
Lee, an Australian model who’s starred in multiple designer campaigns, referred to herself as “one of the lucky ones”, despite having allegedly been touched inappropriately on set. She added: “If people really understood what goes on behind the glamour of the industry, they would be mortified.”
Photographers David Bellemere, Greg Kadel, Seth Sabal and Andre Passos all face accusations, as does British stylist Karl Templer, alongside industry-leading agents, stylists and casting directors.
The Globe reports that all the accused have denied the allegations against them, while “many complained that they can’t fully defend themselves when the Globe protects the identities of alleged victims”.
Demarchelier – who faces accusations from seven women – issued a firm denial to the Boston newspaper: “People lie and they tell stories. It’s ridiculous.” Among those who anonymously spoke to the Globe about their experiences with Demarchelier were a former assistant who recalled: “I remember many test shoots with teenage girls where Patrick’s team of assistants (including me) was dismissed for the day only to find naked photos of the girl in the darkroom the next day.” Further allegations against the famed photographer include “unwanted sexual advances” and “vulgar propositions”.
As with the allegations against Bruce Weber, Mario Testino and Terry Richardson, Condé Nast has confirmed that it has ceased working with Demarchelier and Kadel for now, while Victoria’s Secret has ended its working relationship with Kadel.
The allegations are the latest in a series of bombshell exposes on the nature of the fashion industry. Testino and Weber both were named in a New York Times report, which reported the cases of multiple male models who’d suffered sexual exploitation.
Cameron Russell sparked an outpouring of models coming forward on social media to share stories of mistreatments with the hashtag #myjobshouldnotincludeabuse in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, while Kate Upton recently accused Guess founder Paul Marciano of sexual and emotional harassment – which he denies.
Related article: Kate Upton Reveals Shocking Details About Years of Sexual Harassment
In the Globe report Rocha vented her frustration that it’s taken so long for these accusations to be made public: “It’s interesting and frustrating that now people want to finally pay attention… (there are) people at the top who no doubt have heard these stories for the last 20 years and haven’t done anything.”
As fashion month continues, the industry’s own #MeToo moment looks set to continue to dominate headlines.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.