Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal – both movie and fashion industry have been shaken by an unprecedented outcry of victims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape. In the fashion industry like in Hollywood, the victims are often female, although males are also the victims of photographers, stylists, producers and casting directors.
Having said that, we have to understand that not all photographers or stylists are predators. Though, many models endured abuse by photographers and are often test photographers. The most notorious one is Terry Richardson, a super star photographer-bestowed by magazines and fashion houses, has been accused of allegation of multiple sexual assaults.
However, Richardson is not the main problem. It is a well-orchestrated system, dominated by heterosexual and homosexual males who have been setting the tone for the past fifty years. It has become the realm of toxic masculinity and patriarchy within the industry and, somehow, was accepted by female editors and art directors as part of the job.
Famous model Cameron Russell decided to be the spearhead of this issue by campaigning against female abuse in fashion. Russell urged models to speak up anonymously on social media and published their stories unsing #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse. Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America supported Russell’s action by stating “I think what Cameron is doing is very important. All models deserve the right to feel safe and respected. Unsafe environments should not be tolerated and abusers should be reported.”
In my opinion, for the past five years, the European Union and The United States were struck by unbridled racism, misogynistic behavior and abuse. Donald Trump is the spokesman of these people who agree with these rampant behaviors which include Harvey Weinstein, Terry Richardson and their abuse of power over female. The Weinstein scandal resulted in the raising of female voices who are not willing to accept abuse by male predators whether in fashion or not.
Nonetheless, the world of fashion is slowly changing with the rise of female designers and photographers like Phoebe Philo soon at Burberry, Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy, Angela Luna and Petra Collins who are changing little by little fashion into a female vision.