The Harvey Weinstein allegations have prompted other industries to shine a light into their own workplaces for instances of unacceptable sexual harassment that has, until now, operated under a cloak of secrecy.
One of those is the fashion industry, which has been plagued by poor working conditions for models and allegations of abuse for decades.
Sara Sampaio, a major Portuguese model and Victoria’s Secret angel, is speaking out about French men’s magazine Lui, claiming its staffers repeatedly pressured her into nudity and ultimately published a nude photo on the cover, without her consent.
“I had agreed to shoot the cover feature of Lui’s autumn issue, under the condition that there was NO NUDITY,” she wrote on Instagram. “My agency and I insisted on having a clear agreement in place to protect myself in order to control the choice I made around not being shot nude.”
She said that despite these measures, she was still repeatedly pressured to get naked and asked why she didn’t want to show her nipples.
“Throughout the shoot day, I needed to constantly defend myself and reiterate my boundaries with no nude images, making sure I covered myself as best I could.
“While reviewing the final images taken, I noted that there were accidental exposures with parts of my body that I didn’t want exposed.
“I spoke up and was assured that those images would not be used. The magazine lied and proceeded to publish a cover image of me with nudity, which was in clear violation of our agreement.”
She says the experience made her feel “violated, mistreated and disrespected as a professional and as a woman”, and she’s now pursuing legal action to prevent this from happening to others.
“I want to do what I can to prevent this from happening to me again, and to others,” she said. “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, and I am not alone.”
Models have begun using the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse to speak up about harassment, with Sampaio says inspired her to go public with these allegations.
“As models continue to share their harrowing experiences, the bullying and abuse that is systemic within the fashion industry will come to light.”
Lui (which is French for ‘him’) have yet to make an official response to these accusations, but we’ll add in its statement here if and when they do.
You can read Sara’s message in full below.