Following the recent reports of sexual misconduct against models by photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, two more of the fashion industry's most well-known, powerful figures face similar accusations.
Patrick Demarchelier, one of Vogue's most prolific cover photographers and formerly Princess Diana's personal photographer, and Karl Templer, a superstar stylist who is Interview's creative director in addition to working regularly with the Italian and French editions of Vogue, are among several men named in a new investigative report by The Boston Globe's Spotlight team. Photographers David Bellemere and Greg Kadel are also named.
In the report, several models (The Globe spoke to more than 50) detail various instances of abuse of power. Nearly 60 percent said "they had been touched inappropriately during work-related situations." Broadly, it demonstrates how systemic fashion's sexual assault problem is, with models entering the business as minors with little supervision or job protection. Furthermore, the men in power are seen as gatekeepers who convince them that it's all part of job — and then there are the many agents who enable this whole exploitative system.
In Demarchelier's case, the paper spoke to seven different women with stories of misconduct, including a former photo assistant who emailed Anna Wintour in October informing her of his "relentless" sexual advances, beginning when she was a 19-year-old intern; she said she eventually gave into them and that Demarchelier would berate her if she declined. Another model claimed that, four years ago, when she was a teenager, the photographer asked her multiple times, "Can I lick your pussy?" Demarchelier denied the accusations, calling them "pure lying" by models who "get frustrated if they don't work."
In Kadel's case, The Globe spoke to several models who detailed unwanted sexual advances while they were teenagers. One said that while she was still in high school, he had taken advantage of her while drunk and "pushed her against a wall, pulled off her clothes, and had sex with her" in a hotel. Her agent "convinced me that what happened was a good thing and hopefully my career would benefit from it," and instructed her not to tell anyone else, she told the paper. Kadel subsequently got her a job with Victoria's Secret and allegedly continued to harass her until she refused to work with him. Victoria's Secret said it's conducting an investigation. Kadel's agent denied all accusations, while Kadel reportedly said the instances were consensual or that "he misinterpreted a social situation."
Three female models accused Templer "of yanking their breasts, touching their crotches, or aggressively pulling down their underwear without asking them during shoots." Templer said in response that, "Although physical interaction with models is a necessary aspect of my job as a fashion stylist, I’ve never touched anyone in an inappropriate way nor ever with any sexual intent."
In Bellemere's case, his inappropriate behavior with models has apparently been known for some time; both Lord & Taylor and Victoria's Secret cut ties with him in 2016 after numerous accounts of misconduct. In Victoria's Secret's case it was only after several Angels had complained about inappropriate touching and kissing.
As a result of the report, Vogue's list of approved photographers has grown even shorter: Condé Nast told the paper that, as a conglomerate, it has stopped working, for now, with Demarchelier and Kadel. Victoria's Secret also said it has "suspended" its relationship with Kadel.
If that all seems like a lot, there's much more in the report. It's extensive and upsetting, but not particularly shocking. Hopefully this news coming to light will incite real change in the industry and lower tolerance for this inexcusable behavior. Read it all here.