Burberry, Michael Kors, Condé Nast and more said they no longer would work with the photographers after allegations in a New York Times story.
Fashion brands and magazine titles quickly moved to sever ties with famed photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber after the allegations of sexual exploitation by both photographers in a New York Times story published on Saturday.
Meanwhile, speculation raged during the men’s shows in Milan over which other well-known photographers might be caught up in the scandal, with some stylists and fashion editors saying up to 10 more names could come out. Sexual exploitation and harassment has long been known to take place during fashion shoots for the last several decades, but both brands and magazine editors have generally turned a blind eye to it, observers said.
Both Testino and Weber made their careers and fortunes on shooting ad campaigns, while editorial work pays much less. On Saturday, both Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman said they would no longer be working with Testino on future advertising campaigns.
The sexual misconduct story comes amid a widening scandal in the fashion industry involving photographers’ treatment of male and female models alike. On Saturday, WWD posted an open letter by male model Christopher Cates calling for models to stand up to harassment.
Condé Nast issued a statement Saturday condemning sexual exploitation of any kind.
“We are deeply disturbed by these accusations and take this very seriously, as previously noted in our statement regarding sexual harassment,” said Bob Sauerberg, Condé’s chief executive officer, and Anna Wintour, the publisher’s artistic director and the editor in chief of Vogue, which has worked regularly with Testino for decades. Testino had a major role in the documentary on Vogue, “The September Issue,” for example, and he has been a regular guest at the Met Gala overseen by Wintour.
“In light of these allegations, we will not be commissioning any new work with Bruce Weber or Mario Testino for the foreseeable future,” their statement said.
A Condé spokesperson said separately that two projects with the photographers have already gone to press: A W fashion shoot with Weber and a Vogue shoot with Testino. “However, no new shoots will be commissioned,” the spokesperson said.
Separately, Condé Nast International said in a statement that “in light of these allegations Condé Nast International will not be commissioning any new work with Mario Testino or Bruce Weber for the foreseeable future.”
A company spokesperson for Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., said, “We recently learned of the allegations concerning Mario Testino. In light of the seriousness of these accusations, we will not be working with Mr. Testino on future advertising campaigns.”
Wendy Kahn, chief executive officer and brand president of Stuart Weitzman, said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the allegations in today’s article. We take these accusations very seriously and providing a safe and secure working environment where everyone feels respected is our foremost priority. As a result, we will not be working with Mario Testino for the foreseeable future.”
It is understood that Burberry, which has not worked with Testino since 2016, has no plans to do so for the foreseeable future. Testino’s most recent campaign for Burberry was for My Burberry Black with Lily James in August 2016.
A Burberry spokesperson said, “We take allegations of this nature very seriously. Burberry is committed to providing a just, safe and fair working environment and we have a zero-tolerance policy against any form of harassment, abuse or discrimination. The safety, security and welfare of the people with whom we work is a priority for Burberry and we seek to ensure all our partners adhere to our principles and policies and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.”
A spokesperson for Ralph Lauren, which frequently uses Weber to shoot its ad campaigns, said, “The allegations reported in the recent New York Times article are completely contrary to our values, and to our commitment to creating an environment where our employees and outside partners feel welcome, safe and can perform at their best. We will not do business with anyone who behaves in a way that compromises this commitment.”