Well, no one can say the floodgates aren’t well and truly open. Swimwear model and actress Kate Upton took to social media yesterday to call out yet another high-profile name, accusing them of abusing a position of power. Upton named Paul Marciano, co-founder of clothing brand Guess, and called out the company for continuing to empower him despite allegedly sexually and emotionally harassing women.
In an initial tweet, she said, ‘It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #me too’. She expanded on this comment, by posting it to Instagram, adding the caption, ‘He shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #me too’.
Though she didn’t elaborate any further, Upton clearly felt emboldened by the momentum behind the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, using her platforms to make it clear what she thinks about Guess and how they’re running their ship. If the Weinstein Company showed us anything, it’s that no one is too powerful to be above reproach.
This latest accusation comes after a string of high profile call-outs in the fashion industry. Photographer Terry Richardson, who for years had been dogged by rumours of gross sexual misconduct, was blacklisted by Condé Nast International immediately following Weinstein’s spectacular fall from grace. And in more recent weeks, esteemed photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber have also been accused of using their positions to sexually exploit models leading to immediate and indefinite suspensions from various high-profile publications including Vogue, of which both had been mainstays for years.
Neither Marciano nor Guess have offered a response to Upton’s claims, but no doubt we’ll be expecting one soon. Showing there are consequences to claims of harassment can only be a good thing in an industry with little oversight, regulation, or protection for models.
We’re glad to see the thrust of energy from Hollywood’s push for change rippling out into other industries, because if this movement has shown us anything so far – it’s that it’s just getting started.