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Mar 2017
Veteran fashion show casting director James Scully has taken to Instagram to call out the fashion industry, specifically the Parisian contingent, for its treatment of models.

Taking on the role of whistle-blower, Scully named and shamed slew of brands contributing to the mistreatment of models during the casting process.

“So true to my promise at #bofvoices that I would be a voice for any models, agents or all who see things wrong with this business I'm disappointed to come to Paris and hear that the usual suspects are up to the same tricks,” Scully wrote on the social media app, before going into a story of the poor treatment of models waiting to be cast in the upcoming Balenciaga show in Paris.

“I was very disturbed to hear from a number of girls this morning that yesterday at the Balenciaga casting Madia & Ramy (serial abusers) held a casting in which they made over 150 girls wait in a stairwell told them they would have to stay over three hours to be seen and not to leave. In their usual fashion they shut the door went to lunch and turned off the lights, to the stairs leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see,” Scully revealed.

The casting director, who has worked with the likes of Stella McCartney, Derek Lam, Nina Ricci, Jason Wu, Carolina Herrera and for Gucci during the Tom Ford era, is a well-established and respected member of the fashion community and a long-time advocate for diversity in the modelling community.

“Not only was this sadistic and cruel it was dangerous and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatised. Most of the girls have asked to have their options for Balenciaga cancelled as well as Hermes and Elie Saab who they also cast for because they refuse to be treated like animals,” Scully continued, adding that, “Balenciaga [is] part of Kering it is a public company and these houses need to know what the people they hire are doing on their behalf before a well-deserved lawsuit comes their way.”

Scully then went to touch upon the diversity and age issues the industry is also facing, noting that houses were turning away women of colour and attempting to use underage models.

“On top of that I have heard from several agents, some of whom are black, that they have received mandate from Lanvin that they do not want to be presented with women of colour. And another big house is trying to sneak 15 year-olds into Paris! It's inconceivable to me that people have no regard for human decency or the lives and feelings of these girls, especially when too, too many of these models are under the age of 18 and clearly not equipped to be here but god forbid well sacrifice anything or anyone for an exclusive right?”

Scully’s post has racked up over seven thousand likes and comments from models who found themselves entangled in the Balenciaga stairwell.

“I was one of this 150 girls waiting in this stairwell, Hopefully, I'm 27 now, and it's not my real job, but if I would have been younger and more into this, I would have been so destroyed by this kind of people or treatment. Personally, I decided to leave the casting, just before it was my turn. Just after I saw the casting director screaming at us to go out — outside, in the dark — and told us that we are like groupies in a concert, and how incredible and unbearable it was,” commented Instagram user Judith Schiltz, who purported to be in the stairwell.

Models Joan Smalls, Doutzen Kroes and Candice Swanepoel have also commented on the post.Read more at: |
judy smith
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