For all the steps forward the modeling industry has taken in terms of representation in the past few years, being a model is hardly the dream career you might expect. Models still face mistreatment, sexual harassment, and poor working conditions, even when they’re booking big-name jobs. (Just look at the furor over two casting directors’ alleged mistreatment of models during Paris Fashion Week, as reported by industry whistle-blower James Scully.)
Today, Models.com published a revelatory survey with submissions from working models about how they’re treated in the industry. A few went on the record, like Jay Wright, who said, “some [clients] just have a huge ego and they treat me like I am replaceable, the least important in the fashion chain.” Ekaterina Ozhiganova pointed out that models are often unfairly asked to cover costs up front, while Fernanda Ly shared a story of being inappropriately groped by a stylist during a fitting. The anonymous stories, however, are perhaps the most damning — here are some of them.
I got a semi-exclusive for an A-list show with an opening guarantee during my first season in Paris. When [the designer] found out I was transgender, something no one knows about to this day, they cancelled my booking; they somehow considered it a risk — that it would draw too much attention, something they thought would affect the brand negatively: A very doubtful decision, especially considering that I was [then] an unknown new face.
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