'I, too, am part of the downside': A designer scolds fashion for its silence on Terry Richardson – Washington Post
After this week’s revelation that Condé Nast Worldwide had banned the work of photographer Terry Richardson from its shiny magazines, the designer Prabal Gurung started to think about the reality he had lengthy been conscious of the allegations that Richardson was sexually abusive in the direction of fashions.
After The Washington Post ran a story questioning the business’s lengthy silence and its higher-late-than-by no means disavowal of Richardson, Gurung tried to grasp his personal culpability. In an Instagram publish, he wrote: “I knew the reality. I shared it on my Fb, retweeted some articles and adopted the ‘slactivism’ route (of which all of us are responsible) however by no means actually engaged in the dialog. By no means spoke up. So why, when so many of us know the similar horrific reality, does it take us so lengthy to get right here?”
It is important that we hold everyone accountable who worked with Terry Richardson. Not to shame them, but to understand the intention & motive behind their decision to turn a blind eye to his horrific actions. Clearly they cannot say they didn’t know, because we all knew. Every publication who hired him, every stylist who worked with him, every agency who sent models on his shoot, even the UPS delivery man knew. And I knew too. I have to admit that I heard the stories. I always knew them to be more than just rumours or industry gossip. While I never directly worked with him for one of my own shoots, I knew the truth. I shared it on my Facebook, retweeted some articles and followed the “slactivism” route (of which we all are guilty) but never truly engaged in the conversation. Never spoke up. So why, when so many of us know the same horrific truth, does it take us so long to get here? It might give us an insight into this world of fashion, that we love so much. It might teach us something about our hunger for power, money, chasing the cool, our lack of courage and above all human failings. And while this ban can be masked as a semblance of progress, it does feel too little too late. Too late for the women who felt threatened, violated and scared. To look forward, and advocate for real change, we need to ask each other and ourselves— How can we build better, stronger communities? How did we foster such a hostile environment, and why do we continue to follow a herd mentality even when we know better? Once we truly dissect and understand this, only THEN we can possibly be free of repeating the same mistake.
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Gurung has a historical past of talking up on points nicely past fashion tendencies, from variety in all its iterations to discrimination. He established a charitable basis to assist rebuild his native Nepal after its devastating earthquake in 2015. But despite the fact that he’d heard the allegations towards Richardson for years, he did nothing of substance.
“We may be responsible of posting one thing [online] and feeling like we’ve completed our deed,” Gurung instructed the Post. “It’s simply not in fashion; it’s in any subject. What number of of us are courageous sufficient to exit on our personal and communicate the reality? We function on the concept of eager to belong.”
He added: “I, too, am part of the downside.”
Fashion, he says, is meant to be about encouraging radical new concepts and up-ending custom. “However oftentimes it’s not,” Gurung famous. “What number of of us are actually radical? And I’m together with myself.”
There’s a bent to trivialize the affect of his business. We’re not curing most cancers: It’s simply fashion! As a substitute of taking a danger, there’s a concern of ruffling feathers. A concern of being first or being out of the norm or being perceived as that buzz-kill of an individual who’s at all times on a cleaning soap field, he says. What drives that psychology? Gurung wonders if it’s borne out of the perception that the fashion business is an unique membership with a restricted quantity of memberships.
“We’ve created this complete fantasy with fashion,” Gurung stated. “There’s this concern that solely a choose few can sit at this desk and the relaxation of you possibly can’t.”
That’s altering. Fashion has begun welcoming a broader array of folks into its ranks. And maybe the information that fashion has room for extra dreamers, storytellers and innovators, will make these of us extra prepared to face out by talking up. “We as human beings are very afraid of confrontation,” Gurung says. “I at all times imagine confrontation ends in dialogue and that results in options.”