OUT OF FASHION: Terry Richardson is persona non grata at Condé Nast on both ends of the Atlantic.
The U.S. and international arms of the publisher have issued separate statements distancing themselves from the controversial photographer, who is well-known for his hypersexualized shoots and allegations of misconduct on and off-set.
“Condé Nast has nothing planned with Terry going forward,” according to a statement from Condé in the U.S. “Sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”
It won’t be a big drama on either side. It’s been about seven years since American Vogue worked with Richardson and the other Condé titles do not use him.
In London, Condé Nast International spent most of Tuesday declining to comment on an article that appeared in The Daily Telegraph citing an internal e-mail saying that Richardson could no longer work for any of the CNI titles, which include British Vogue, other international Vogue titles, and GQ Style.
On Tuesday, the Telegraph quoted an internal CNI e-mail sent by James Woolhouse, executive vice president and chief operating officer, to CNI international country presidents.
It said: “I am writing to you on an important matter. Condé Nast would like to no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson. Any shoots that have been commissioned or any shoots that have been completed but not yet published, should be killed and substituted with other material.”
Toward the end of the day a CNI spokesman issued the following statement: “I can confirm that the content of the e-mail has been correctly quoted and that Condé Nast International has no further comment to make.”
In response to The Telegraph leak, a representative for Richardson told WWD: “Terry is disappointed to hear about this e-mail, especially because he has previously addressed these old stories. He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work, so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature, but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually.”
The CNI e-mail was leaked to The Telegraph about 48 hours after The Sunday Times of London ran a long feature asking “Why is Terry Richardson Still Feted by Fashionistas?” It quoted a former editor of i-D saying that Richardson’s behavior had long been an open secret.
The Condé condemnations come amid a widening sexual harassment scandal sparked by accusations of grossly inappropriate by Harvey Weinstein, who’s now jobless and in rehab. Scores of women — and men — have been coming forward telling their stories of abuse by Weinstein and other powerful figures in the film and fashion industries.
On Oct. 18, WWD quoted Neil Kraft, owner and creative director at KraftWorks, who said: “I think sexual harassment exists in every business that remotely touches pretty women and men. It’s out there. I’ve only witnessed really bad things once in 25 years. The difference between my kind of thing and a runway model is we travel with the models. We go to Hawaii and travel all over the world.”
He said that during one of his campaign shoots, he walked in on Richardson having sex with a girl in a bathroom. “I don’t know what the relationship was,” Kraft said. “It was during the day and he came back to work a half hour later. It’s fairly well-known that the models tend to sleep with the assistants. That’s more youthful attraction. Herb Ritts was known to use his boyfriends as models. They were guys he was attracted to,” he alleged.