In Unacceptable Fashion / by Cinthia Contreras

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Over the past few weeks, abuse and harassment revelations have been hitting the headlines left, right and centre at an increasingly alarming rate. From cinema to politics, people have been stepping forward and telling their stories through the media or #metoo campaigns and as this has shown, Fashion is no exception.

Many stories have emerged of actresses, actors, models and employees in and out of the public eye being abused, pressured or coerced into things they absolutely did not want to do. Or in any other cases, such as the now notorious Weinstein affair, unscrupulous people using their influence and wielding their power to treat people unacceptably - to say the least - and further their brands and causes. And it’s all absolutely nasty.

Not just because it’s happening but because in many cases, several insiders were aware of the situation and said nothing due to a code of silence and also out of fear for their positions amongst many other things including financial pressures, previous links, pending projects, vested interests...). It’s also extremely troubling because it feeds into an idea that this sort of behavior is to be expected on some level as it ‘comes with the territory’.

Fashion is often seen as an amoral industry full of shallow people willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Covering any disgusting happenings for whatever reason would certainly be part of that. But is that a fair assessment? We’ll have to see how the industry reacts to these revelations and whether or not anybody, if anybody will be held to account. If it’s just business as usual in a few months and all is forgiven, we’re really going to have to start asking ourselves even more very uncomfortable questions.

 

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