The Model Alliance has released a statement slamming Karl Lagerfeld for “outrageous” comments stemming from his recent Numéro interview. In the piece, Lagerfeld referred to models as “stupid,” “toxic” and “sordid,” and stated that he was “fed up” with the #MeToo movement.
The designer also came to the defense of the stylist Karl Templer, who was accused by multiple models of sexual misconduct. Referencing one of the allegations against Templer, Lagerfeld said that models should “join a nunnery” if they didn’t want their underwear pulled down.
Run by former model Sara Ziff, The Model Alliance is an advocacy group campaigning for better working conditions in the fashion industry. Ziff said Lagerfeld’s comments “underscore just how much work we still have to do.”
“Demeaning treatment and pervasive conditions of sexual harassment and abuse have plagued the fashion industry for far too long — and as they are finally coming to light, the people who enable these conditions must be held accountable,” Ziff wrote. “Mr. Lagerfeld’s flippant dismissal of reports of abuse, and his characterization of models who have come forward as ‘stupid,’ ‘toxic’ and ‘sordid creatures’ who should quit their profession if they do not like how they are treated surely demands action.”
While the fashion industry may have previously ignored such allegations or remarks, Ziff declared that “attitudes like Lagerfeld’s carry the day no longer.”
“From The New York Times and the Boston Globe, to the public posting of long lists of the names of accused perpetrators — fashion models and others who have been preyed upon for years are finding their voice and speaking up,” the activist wrote.
“The Model Alliance and its allies refuse to tolerate bullying or abuse — be it physical or verbal — in our industry. The fashion industry should be a place where creativity and self-expression flourishes, and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect on the job. Times have changed — and, with it, fashion’s moral standing and accountability must as well.”
Chrissy Teigen and Rose McGowen both took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Lagerfeld’s comments, with Teigen writing “surely there is an in-between here, karl” and McGowen seemingly calling for a boycott of Chanel, where Lagerfeld is Creative Director.
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