French Design House Lanvin Allegedly Refused to Cast Any Models of Color

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 01: Models walk the runway during finale of the Lanvin show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018  on March 1, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images)

French Design House Lanvin Allegedly Refused to Cast Any Models of Color

And it looks like they got away with it.

PUBLISHED ON : MARCH 1, 2017 / 01:51 PM

In today's fashion industry inequality news, storied fashion house Lanvin has embarrassed itself after allegedly asking to "not be presented with women of color" at its most recent casting. 

Seriously? It's 2017. How does stuff like this still happen?

This disappointing news comes on the heels of casting director James Scully making a public pledge to expose harmful behaviors in the industry. He made news this week for also exposing Balenciaga's latest bout of bad PR, in which models were locked in a stairwell for three hours in the dark while the casting directors went to lunch. 

The fashion industry is infamous for being cutthroat, but these reprehensible actions have no grounds.

Earth to fashion houses — want to avoid bad press? Treat your models with respect and, for God's sake, cast a diverse show. It's that simple. Unabashedly racist behavior is inexcusable and only reflects poorly upon your houses. 

Although NYFW just made history by having at least one POC cast in every single show, judging by Lanvin's extremely white runway (see above), it doesn't look like the Paris shows will follow suit. 

So true to my promise at #bofvoices that I would be a voice for any models, agents or all who see things wrong with this business I'm disappointed to come to Paris and hear that the usual suspects are up to the same tricks. I was very disturbed to hear from a number of girls this morning that yesterday at the Balenciaga casting Madia & Ramy (serial abusers) held a casting in which they made over 150 girls wait in a stairwell told them they would have to stay over 3 hours to be seen and not to leave. In their usual fashion they shut the door went to lunch and turned off the lights, to the stairs leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see. Not only was this sadistic and cruel it was dangerous and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatized. Most of the girls have asked to have their options for Balenciaga cancelled as well as Hermes and Ellie Saab who they also cast for because they refuse to be treated like animals. Balenciaga part of Kering it is a public company and these houses need to know what the people they hire are doing on their behalf before a well deserved law suit comes their way. On top of that I have heard from several agents, some of whom are black that they have received mandate from Lanvin that they do not want to be presented with women of color. And another big house is trying to sneak 15 year olds into paris! It's inconceivable to me that people have no regard for human decency or the lives and feelings of these girls, especially when too too many of these models are under the age of 18 and clearly not equipped to be here but god forbid well sacrifice anything or anyone for an exclusive right? If this behavior continues it's gonna be a long cold week in paris. Please keep sharing your stories with me and I will continue to to share them for you. It seems to be the only way we can force change and give the power back to you models and agents where it rightfully belongs. And I encourage any and all to share this post #watchthisspace

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Written by Lainey Sidell

(Photo: Victor Boyko/Getty Images)


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