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Models Pen Open Letter To Victoria's Secret Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

victorias secret models demand respect in letter

Over 100 models have signed an open letter directed at Victoria’s Secret, urging the company to protect its talent from sexual harassment and abuse.

The models called upon the lingerie giant to join RESPECT Program, a Model Alliance initiative the promotes safety in the workplace, which requires employers to follow a strict code of conduct.

Related: Model Shanina Shaik Says This Year’s VS Fashion Show Is Canceled!

Directed at John Mehas, CEO of VS, the letter reads:

“We are calling on Victoria’s Secret to take meaningful action to protect its talent and those who aspire to work with the company. Victoria’s Secret has the opportunity to be a leader, to use its power and influence to bring about the changes that are urgently needed in our industry. Every day, fashion brands, publishing companies, and agencies set the norms of what’s acceptable and what’s not in fashion. If Victoria’s Secret were to take a stand against these abuses and commit to meaningful change by joining the RESPECT Program, this would go a long way in helping our industry chart a new path forward.”

This open letter comes days after a report published in The New York Times detailed how convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein allegedly told young women he was a talent scout for the popular brand.

The message also described him as a “close friend” of VS’ parent company L Brands‘ CEO Leslie Wexner, and additionally mentioned “allegations of sexual misconduct by photographers Timur EmekDavid Bellemere, and Greg Kadel.”

The letter — signed by TIME’S UP, Christy Turlington Burns, Milla Jovovich, Doutzen Kroes, and more — continued:

“These stories are gut-wrenching and hit close to home for many of us who have encountered these kinds of abuses that are too often tolerated in our industry. We stand with the courageous women who have come forward and shared their stories, despite fears of retaliation or harm to their careers. It breaks our hearts to keep hearing these stories. We can and must do better. It is time for RESPECT.”

This isn’t the first time Victoria’s Secret has been the subject of controversy. Less than a year after Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands, told Vogue he wouldn’t hire any trans people to walk the runway of the iconic fashion show, transgender model Valentina Sampaio recently announced her big gig!

Ch-ch-check out her cute BTS pic from Instagram (below):

valentina sampaio first trans model for VS
“Backstage click @vspink??” / (c) Valentina Sampaio/Instagram

Hiring more diverse models is SO long overdue for the company, as is making sure their models are better protected in the industry!!

What do U think about the letter from the ladies, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF (below) in the comments with all your thoughts!!

[Image via Sheri Determan/WENN.]

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Aug 07, 2019 12:24pm PDT