Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, two of the most recognisable names in the world of fashion photography, have been accused of “a pattern of coercive sexual behaviour” by 15 current and former male models and 13 male assistants and models, respectively. The investigation began in mid-November 2017 and was published in the New York Times on Saturday (13 January).
Publishing giant Condé Nast announced that it will be “put[ting] our working relationship both photographers on hold for the foreseeable future” and issued a new code of conduct to protect models from “workplace abuses and sexual misconduct.” Representatives for both photographers object to the allegations, with Bruce personally denying them in a statement. The law firm that represents Mario “challenged the characters and creditability” of those making the claims.
Chief executive of Vogue Bob Sauerberg stated – alongside the magazine’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour – “we are deeply disturbed by these accusations and take this very seriously as previously noted in our statement [released in October] regarding sexual harassment. In light of these allegations, we will not be commissioning any new work with Bruce Weber and Mario Testino for the foreseeable future.”
“Even as we stand with victims of abuse and misconduct, we must also hold a mirror up to ourselves — and ask if we are doing our utmost to protect those we work with so that unacceptable conduct never happens on our watch,” wrote Anna on Vogue.com. “Sometimes that means addressing the fact that such behaviour can occur close to home. Today, allegations have been made against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, stories that have been hard to hear and heartbreaking to confront. Both are personal friends of mine who have made extraordinary contributions to Vogue and many other titles at Condé Nast over the years, and both have issued objections or denials to what has emerged. I believe strongly in the value of remorse and forgiveness, but I take the allegations very seriously, and we at Condé Nast have decided to put our working relationship with both photographers on hold for the foreseeable future.”
Following these statements, representatives from many of the major fashion houses and brands have also spoken out including Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman.
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Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.