PARIS — Danish model Ulrikke Høyer has spoken out on social media after being dropped from Louis Vuitton’s cruise show in Japan last weekend, allegedly because of her weight.
Photos of the 20-year-old model on her Facebook and Instagram pages, dated Thursday, are captioned “Too Fat for Louis Vuitton,” and have been met with a wave of sympathy online.
They are accompanied by a lengthy text in which Høyer recounts her version of the story, calling out casting director Alexia Cheval of Ashley Brokaw for allegedly saying the model had a “bloated stomach” and “bloated face,” and that “Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours,” after pre-show fittings in Tokyo.
A U.S. size 4-6 who has worked for Louis Vuitton several times as well as for houses including Stella McCartney, Chloé, Versace, Elie Saab, Joseph, Lanvin, Kenzo and Valentino, the model claims she was subsequently canceled from walking the show, despite having been confirmed at fittings in Paris in late April, and losing half a centimeter on her hips between that time and when she traveled to Japan last week.
Ashley Brokaw refuted the accusations. “At no time did anyone from my team say to her to drink only water and not eat,” she said. “Not only is that untrue, but it’s unhealthy and downright dangerous. We advised all the girls coming off the plane to drink only water the first 24 hours because we did not want anyone dehydrated after such a long flight. No coffee, sodas or alcohol because these would only amplify the effects of jet lag. We also advised them to eat whenever they felt hungry and not to wait for regular meal times as their body clocks would be off.”
She continued, “I know she is disappointed with the outcome, but we were as well. The intention was always to have her in the show. She has been an LV girl since the beginning and we always love having her. “
A spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton declined to comment.
“At no time did anyone on our end have a conversation with Ulrikke directly and again, at no time did anyone tell her or expect her to starve herself,” Brokaw said. “No one asked her to lose weight or slim down or to fit a smaller size. When she arrived in Tokyo, the clothes that were made for her in Paris did not fit well. We tried her in a few other looks but, unfortunately, could not find something that worked.”
She added, “We apologized to her agent with her in Tokyo and paid her in full for the job.”
Høyer wrote in her post, “This is not about me being canceled from a show, I’ve tried that before (all girls on my level have) you win some and you loose [sic] some that’s the game. But I cannot accept the ‘normality’ in the behavior of people like this. They find pleasure in power over young girls and will go to the extreme to force an eating disorder on you.”
She continued, “I am glad I am 20 and not a 15-year-old girl, who is new to this and unsure about herself, because I have no doubt that I would then have ended up very sick and scarred long into my adult life.”
Peter Damgaard, director of Høyer’s principal agent 2pm Model Management in Copenhagen, told WWD that his client had felt the need to speak out after the experience, even if it probably meant she would never work with the major fashion labels again.
“She’s pretty much made a decision where she would stop working this way,” said Damgaard, who has represented Høyer since she was 14.
“This [kind of situation] is not new to us, it’s not a big surprise, especially with the high fashion clients,” he said. “What’s new is a model saying stop.”
He said Høyer hoped that standing up against unrealistic expectations on models’ size and eating habits would help other girls in the future.
Among online reactions to Høyer’s post, Pandora Sykes wrote, “This is so disappointing.”
Sharing Høyer’s post, she continued, “Thank God for casting directors like James Scully and models like Ulrikke Høyer who are determined to call out those in the fashion industry who perpetuate a damaging statistical idea of beauty that is truly not what this industry is about. Ulrikke’s a brave chick — this statement puts her career at risk.”
The promotion of diversity and healthier body shapes in the modeling world has gained momentum recently.
Earlier this month, France said it would implement laws under which photos must be labeled as such if manipulated and models must provide doctor’s certificates proving they are healthy in order to work here, as reported.