In February 2018, the Boston Globe published a 5,100-word investigation into alleged mistreatment of, and sexual misconduct against fashion models. Stylist Karl Templer was mentioned in the Globe investigation when three models explained that as a stylist, Templer yanked at the underwear and shorts of one, touched another’s crotch and a third model’s breast.
The paper reported that models felt this behavior “crossed the line of professionalism”, seeming to question if this behavior was truly necessary to get the job done on an assignment. One of the models interviewed recalled the instance of her underwear and shorts being pulled off as “trying to get me naked,” although she’d told her agent she did not want to be nude below the waist.
“A stylist’s movement of clothes multiple times — over three decades and possibly tens of thousands of interactions — is not the same as sexual predation or sexual harassment or touching with the intent of self-gratification,” Templer said in an open letter to WWD published the next day.
He added that it was “impossible” for him to defend himself, as the prominent stylist been given no specific information to which he could respond.
On Oct. 2, the Boston Globe responded to Templer’s lawyer, asserting that it never reported that the stylist was accused by any model of “coercing or trying to coerce models to engage in sex or sexual activities” with him.
“The article did not assert or imply any such thing, nor did it report that Mr. Templer attempted to have or had sex with any models,” the letter reads, according to WWD. “Any claim that the Globe accused Mr. Templer of such conduct is entirely unfounded.”
The Globe held firm that its article will not be amended or retracted in any way.
The legal response letter referred to Templer alone and not to anyone else named in the story, like photographers Patrick Demarchelier, David Bellemere and Greg Kadel. These photographers all have denied the various allegations of sexual misconduct against them, ranging from lewd comments and quid pro quo harassment to forced kissing and sexual assault.
One of the industry chieftans who supported Templer’s argument that touching and groping — accidental or otherwise — is inevitable in working with a stylist is Karl Lagerfeld, who stated emphatically:
“A girl complained he tried to pull her pants down and he is instantly excommunicated from a profession that up until then had venerated him,” Lagerfeld said of Templer. “It’s unbelievable. If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!”
AOC has followed Karl Templer’s work as a stylist for over a decade. Several key photographers have continued to work with the stylist after the publication of the Boston Globe article. View Templer’s body of work on AOC.