Naming and shaming has been a big no-no in the fashion industry. Until now.
Since casting director James Scully opened up about the horrors he had witnessed, several models have felt able to talk about their mistreatment.
20-year-old Danish model Ulrikke Høyer is the latest face to do so.
In a lengthy Facebook post, she explains how she was told to starve herself before being fired from Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show for being too fat.
Ulrikke, who is a UK size 6-8 and has walked for the likes of Stella McCartney and Elie Saab, writes how she was confirmed for the show which was held in Japan just last week. She explained the process which involved having her hips measured and being told her 92cm results were way too big for Louis Vuitton’s clothes.
However, the French house’s casting director “insisted on flying [Ulrikke] straight to Paris the next day” for a fitting where she was confirmed for the job.
“I was excited to go to Japan and happy to know that even though I wasn’t in my skinniest ‘show shape’, Louis Vuitton would still have me in their show,” she wrote.
After arriving in Tokyo for a fitting a few weeks later, Ulrikke felt a pressure to only eat a “very small breakfast” with water and tea, stating “that’s how we do it.”
She felt the fitting had gone well but was later told by her agent that there had been problems. Louis Vuitton’s casting director, Alexia Chavel, had said Ulrikke “had a very bloated stomach and face and urged [her] to starve [herself]”, saying: “Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours.”
That evening, Ulrikke didn’t go to the dinner Louis Vuitton had arranged for its models, instead going hungry in her hotel. At 2am the next morning, she woke up “extremely hungry” and “had the absolute minimum” at breakfast.
At 8am, the woman who told Ulrikke to eat nothing arrived, looking down at her non-existent plate to see if she had been eating food.
Later that day, Ulrikke was given the sad news that she had been cancelled from the show and was being sent back home.
“What should have been a truly amazing and unique experience ended up being a very humiliating one,” the model wrote.
“I cannot accept the normality in the behaviour of people like this. They find pleasure in power over young girls and will go to the extreme to force an eating disorder on you.”
Ulrikke doesn’t blame Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquiere, saying he “treats everybody with respect.” However, she does state the show pieces are made for unnaturally thin women; something a designer needs to be aware of.
We have reached out to Ulrikke for comment.
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