Abbey Lee Commits Suicide For Ryan McGinley
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In an age where pop stars don't wear pants, teenagers "sext" and fashion magazines resemble high brow porn rags, the notion of propriety seems like a terribly antiquated ideal. Still, you'd have to question the appropriateness of this video campaign for South Korean brand Lewitt - shot by Ryan McGinley and starring Abbey Lee Kershaw. In the below three and a half minute video Kershaw struggles with some unspoken emotional turmoil, runs through alleyways, assumes the fetal position, thumbs ropes then climbs on top of a building and jumps off.
McGinley has thrown models off buildings before of course, most notably Agyness Deyn who jumped naked from a fire escape for POP Magazine's Fall 08 issue but with the recent spate of fashion industry suicides (Tom Nicon, Ambrose Olsen, South Korean Daul Kim, Lucy Gordon and Lee McQueen) and the darker tone this video carries, the glamorization of such an act seems terribly irresponsible.
The video is doubly inappropriate as suicide is not only increasingly prevalent in the fashion industry, it is extremely prevalent in South Korea - where Lewitt is based. In the last few years alone celebrities as diverse as politicians, actors, musicians and the aforementioned Kim have taken their own lives, prompting the Korean media to identify suicide as a "national problem". Suicide, in fact, is the fourth highest cause of death in South Korea and the country has one of the highest rates of suicide in the developed world. Whatever its intentions may have been, this video just seems a little misguided.