Over 100 Top Models + Time's Up Join Model Alliance In Open Letter to Victoria's Secret


On Tuesday morning, over 100 models, including Christy Turlington Burns, Edie Campbell, Karen Elson, Milla Jovovich, Doutzen Kroes, and Gemma Ward, signed an open letter addressed directly to Victoria’s Secret. The letter petitioned the lingerie brand to take concrete actions in protecting models against sexual misconduct.

The letter was properly addressed to Victoria’s Secret’s CEO John Mehas and it pulled no punches:

We are writing today to express our concern for the safety and wellbeing of the models and young women who aspire to model for Victoria’s Secret. In the past few weeks, we have heard numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models. While these allegations may not have been aimed at Victoria's Secret directly, it is clear that your company has a crucial role to play in remedying the situation. From the headlines about L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner’s close friend and associate, Jeffrey Epstein, to the allegations of sexual misconduct by photographers Timur Emek, David Bellemere, and Greg Kadel, it is deeply disturbing that these men appear to have leveraged their working relationships with Victoria’s Secret to lure and abuse vulnerable girls.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

The letter then proceeds to invite Victoria’s Secret to join the RESPECT Program —a program of the Model Alliance—is the only existing anti-sexual harassment program designed by and for models.

Signatory companies make a binding commitment to require their employees, agents, vendors, photographers and other contractors to follow a code of conduct that protects everyone’s safety on the job, and reduces models’ vulnerability to mistreatment. Models have access to an independent, confidential complaint mechanism, with swift and fair resolution of complaints and appropriate consequences for abusers. Further, RESPECT includes a robust training program aimed toward prevention, to ensure that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.

“Corporations tend to treat the discovery of abuses as public-relations crises to be managed rather than human-rights violations to be remedied,” says Sara Ziff, the founder and executive director of the Model Alliance. “The RESPECT Program provides Victoria’s Secret an opportunity not only to right the wrongs of the past but also to work towards prevention.”

Ziff recently penned an essay for the Cut detailing her own encounter with Epstein as a young model. She highlighted just how long an imbalance of power and lack of protections have “plagued” the industry. She wrote: “Now, we need the support of agencies, publishing companies, and fashion brands who want to do better by the talent who they purport to protect.”

In November, the Model Alliance issued a statement following disgraced L Brands Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek’s infamous Vogue interview in advance of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Razek retired from Victoria’s Secret on Monday.

Valentina Sampaio Shoots Pink Campaign for Victoria's Secret, As Ed Razek Steps Down from L Brands

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We have the welcome news that Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek has retired in the wake of growing fallout around Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to L Brands chief and major stockholder Les Wexner. The plot has thickened so deep that even I — who worked in the business for a decade and knew both men well — am waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Razek was riding high — not in terms of VS revenues and profits, which were clobbered last year — but in an interview with Vogue in advance of the now cancelled, annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Among the tough questions fielded to Razek was one about using ‘transsexual’ models in the fashion show.

Razek claimed that “transsexual” models should not be cast “because the show is fantasy.” We know he meant “male fantasy” which is among the many reasons for the decline of VS. Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss and current Angel Lily Aldridge clapped back online, stating that trans and gender non-conforming lives are not up for debate.

In a bit of poetic justice, Razek is out and transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio, a 22-year-old model hailing from Brazil, has shot a new campaign for Victoria’s Secret Pink.

I find Sampaio’s sultry, intoxicating images to be more conducive for the VS mothership, but whatever role she plays, we say kudos.

Hiring Sampaio won’t begin to solve Victoria’s Secret’s problems, but at least we know that new VS CEO John Mehas is putting his foot down. Mehas most recently was president of Tory Burch and from all we know, his thinking is much more advanced in terms of today’s women and also the attitudes of young shoppers than either Razek’s or Wexner’s.

Karlie Kloss Is Celebrated In Vogue Paris As Vicky Ward Dishes On Kushner Family Karlie Vibes

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Karlie Kloss Is Celebrated In Vogue Paris As Vicky Ward Dishes On Kushner Family Karlie Vibes

Supermodel, entrepreneur, activist and philanthropist Karlie Kloss is styled by Celia Azoulay in ‘Elan Sportif’, lensed by Alique for Vogue Paris June 2019.

Kloss is an American success story admired by millions, which is why AOC was stunned playing catch up on the story of the Kushner family’s long resistance to bringing Karlie into the Kushner family through her marriage to Josh Kushner, Jares’s younger brother.

Understandably, the media has focused on Jared and Ivanka detailed from Vicky Ward’s new book ‘Kushner, Inc’, where she describes the President’s son-in-law and daughter as appearing to be “disdainful of rules, laws, and ethics.” You got that right, Ms. Ward, a contributing editor to Town & Country, shared the Kushner family response to Karlie Kloss — including the fact that they refused to meet her for six years.

Kendall Jenner Talks Keeping Her Relationship Private From Prying Eyes + Endless Opinions

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Kendall Jenner Talks Keeping Her Relationship Private From Prying Eyes + Endless Opinions

Kendall Jenner covers the June 2019 issue of Vogue Australia. If you read eyeball-shopping, online headlines that Jenner is about to get engaged, that’s NOT what she says in her interview. Lensed by Charles Dennington, the supermodel wears a a Saint Laurent mini dress with Tiffany & Co. jewelry on the cover.

Inside the magazine, Kendall is styled by Jillian Davison in fashion froth from Prada, Valentino, Tomo Koizumi and more.