Updated: Jan 8
Fashion has a new watch dog
We investigate the Instagram account that joined forces with the notorious Diet Prada to expose the graphic, prolific accusations made towards designer Alexander Wang and his sexual assaults on young male and transgender models.
Everything you need to know about Shit Model Management
Since 2016, @ShitModelMgmt has been breaking down the stigma of the fashion and modelling world being all glitz and glamour. The account documents the reality of castings, fittings and the lack of financial rewards that the models gain within the fashion industry. But of recent, the account has turned its attention to darker matters, ones which have had psychological impacts on the victims.
In an interview with Dazed Magazine, the anonymous founder of Shit Model Management described why she started the account ' I decided to start Shit Model Management in April 2016. I was young model, living in a model apartment with six girls from all over the world, stressed from castings and scared shitless of my agents. I wanted to create a space where I could vent and let out my frustrations about modelling, but anonymously so that it wouldn’t affect my work. I felt like the best way to do this was through humour, and it grew from there'.
The page became a community for models to post their experiences of discrimination and racism within the fashion industry. With themes of the inability of white hairstylists to style black hair (plus their frustration when asked to do so) and photographers asking for skin to be lightened in photoshop, it’s a dismal view into the experiences of models of colour and a constant reminder that there is much to be done in the industry when it comes to racism.
Shit Model Management has already made waves in the industry. In 2018, the account published 'The Blacklist', which contains the names of photographers who have acted inappropriately towards models. The list was published, and then taken down due to a high volume of death threats that the account received. However, the list can still be viewed on Tumblr. The list was published in order to protect models from experiencing injustice in their field of work, often done at the hands of high profile photographers who would never otherwise experience the backlash of their vulgar actions.
But what happened with Alexander Wang?
On 28th December, Shit Model Management reposted to its followers a Tik Tok video of male model, Owen Mooney, graphically recalling how in 2017 he was felt up in an exceptionally busy nightclub by the designer Alexander Wang.
The first video he made he kept the designer anonymous, until many others came forward with the same, if not worse tales of the same abuse done at the hands of Alexander Wang. Mooney later took to his instagram to say he spoke out only 4 years later as he was 'made aware of other much worse sexual assault...and people need to be made aware that he is a huge predator in the fashion industry'.
Diet Prada then reposted the same video, a day later on the 29th December, along with the screenshots from Shit Model Managements account, showing the many many messages from victims of Wang's unforgivable attacks on vulnerable young male models.
The page Shit Model Management continued to post story after story which showcased extremely similar stories of sexual attacks, and drugging of victims who then later allegedly found themselves in Alexander Wang's apartment unclothed, and unaware of how they got there.
There are repeat allegations of several victims, including those from the transgender community who recount being groped or having their genitals exposed by Wang. Azealia Banks, a former muse of the disgraced Wang, shared a message she received from an anonymous source claiming 'Alexander Wang sexually assaults transgender women & needs to be brought down. He's an obsessive, violent snake'. The anonymous source then went on to recall 'he assaulted a few girls I know in NYC. I know of three incidents spanning from 2015 - now, but knowing him there's defiantly more. He tries to silence anyone who speaks out'.
Shit Model Management brought up the issue of male models voices not being heard enough, and the many injustices which they are the victim of, go unseen. By shining light on the Alexander Wang accusations, they are providing a platform with a reach of millions for male models voices to be heard.
Are Instagram accounts like Shit Model Management helping the fashion community develop into a better place? Let us know what you think...
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