On January 13, The New York Times published an expose that detailed claims made by 13 models and former assistants (some dating back to the 90s), accusing renowned fashion photographer Mario Testino of sexual assault.
Following these sexual misconduct allegations, Burberry, Michael Kors, and Stuart Weitzman have vowed never to work with the photographer again.
In one statement, Burberry shared with Harper’s Bazaar how they have no future plans with Testino, saying, “We take allegations of this nature very seriously. Burberry is committed to providing a just, safe and fair working environment and we have a zero-tolerance policy against any form of harassment, abuse or discrimination. The safety, security and welfare of the people with whom we work is a priority for Burberry and we seek to ensure all our partners adhere to our principles and policies and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.”
There is also Michael Kors, who firmly stated, “We recently learned of the allegations concerning Mario Testino. In light of the seriousness of these accusations, we will not be working with Mr. Testino on future advertising campaigns.”
Wendy Kahn, the chief executive officer and brand president of Stuart Weitzman, said that for the “foreseeable future”, the brand will not be working with Testino, as they “take these accusations very seriously and providing a safe and secure working environment where everyone feels respected is our foremost priority.”
Testino has since then denied the allegations, with his legal team Lagley & Singer challenging the “characters and credibility” of those who have made the claims, saying that they “cannot be considered reliable sources.”
The actions of these powerful designers, however, say otherwise. By doing this, they are paving the way for a just working environment for everyone in the fashion industry.