Balenciaga under fire for another casting controversy

Photo credit: Rex
Photo credit: Rex

From Harpers Bazaar UK

After facing plenty of criticism for the way they reportedly treated their models last season, Balenciaga is now under fire once again following its spring/summer 2018 show on Sunday. Louise Parker – an artist and model – took to Instagram to reveal her displeasure at taking a 12-hour trip, cutting her hair and going through hours of fittings for the Balenciaga show, only to be cut from the final line up.

"It feels great to take a 12 hour trip for a client, be fitted after waiting for hours, agree to have your hair cut for their show, only to be cancelled the following day," Parker wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of her giving the finger to the camera.

Parker went on to criticise Balenciaga's parent company Kering, who recently launched a charter with LVMH to ensure the wellbeing of models. Her experience, Parker said, does not align with what they are promising.

"Now that you're finally paying attention to 'model's rights' (I also got that doctors note to confirm a healthy BMI) maybe I'd feel better if I met with your so called therapist that's on call 24/7," Parker added. "Thanks for the haircut."

While some – including casting director James Scully – came to Parker's defence on Instagram and thanked her for shining a light on the situation, others have said that this cannot be considered abusive treatment as it is common for models to be routinely optioned for shows and then not selected.

This argument has been reiterated by Balenciaga, who also stressed that Parker was paid the same amount that she would have been if she had been selected.

"Balenciaga is sincerely sorry for the disappointment of Louise Parker for not being confirmed for the women's spring 2018 show in Paris," the brand said in a statement. "The house regrets that there seemed to have been a misunderstanding between Louise Parker and her agent about the fact that flying her for a 'go and see' fitting does not mean she would be confirmed. A 'go and see' or fitting never means that the model is confirmed for a show."

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