Why is Abuse Still Happening in the Fashion Industry?

The short answer is that there are horrible people in every industry. But, of course, it goes much deeper than just the abusers themselves. The fashion industry lends itself to a certain type of misuse, and it’s accepted because if you speak up, you lose your spot.

While the #MeToo movement opened up the floodgates and started the conversation, it seems as though strides were not really made, at least not in fashion. In 2021, we’re still seeing the mistreatment. Why do you think that is?

Whether you love or hate Diet Prada, you can’t deny that they are on the right side of history. Recently, they exposed the story on Alexander Wang. It all started by one of his male models on TikTok telling his experiences with Wang, and this quickly became one of the most talked about stories overnight. Dozens of people spoke out about Wang’s abuse and agreed with the original model. 

How was this kept under wraps for so long? Why did no one say anything before? I’m sure models talk amongst each other, so why is this even a thing?

The obvious answer is fear. Even though the news broke and dozens stood in solidarity with the victims, some of them chose to not disclose their names, because as we all know by now, speaking out will open you up to more abuse in other forms. You become vulnerable to outside opinions that have no place having an opinion to begin with and to other forms of retaliation. It’s got to be a pretty scary place. 

According to this piece for the “Business of Fashion,” several things like threats, insults and financial injustices are all abuse tactics used in the fashion industry that have resulted in anxiety, depression and PTSD in some former employees. And yet the industry is still as desirable as ever. 

So, how can we change the inevitability of abuse in the fashion industry? The answer to this is simple to me. Do NOT tolerate it. Period. No exceptions. If everyone did this long enough, it would become the norm for misuse to not be acceptable or allowed. These types of abusers will always exist, but it’s up to each and every one of us to stand up against them. I know we all need to pay bills, etc., but is it worth being abused and traumatized for it? 

I hope your answer is no.

Sally Espinosa

Follow on IG @sallythatprgirl


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