Michael Costello is at odds with a 23-year-old DJ over social media tagging. In a lengthy Instagram post this morning, the designer expressed upset and alleged that DJ Chantel Jeffries refused to tag him in a photo in which she is wearing one of his designs.
“Yesterday, I uploaded a photo of a text exchange between me and @ChantelJefferies [sic],” Costello wrote on Instagram, referring to a post that appears to have since been deleted. “The image shows a conversation I had with her, where I confronted her about not crediting me or tagging me on her social media page the past few times she borrowed dresses from my showroom. She claims that because the dress was lended [sic] to her, she will not tag me. If it was given to her as a gift, she might consider it.”
He added that Jeffries “didn’t think it was necessary” to tag him, and that her manager said she couldn’t due to “pre-existing contractual obligations.” “If she was under an exclusive contract with an individual designer, why did she even walk into my showroom, asking to borrow a dress?” he asked, later alleging that Jeffries shared his phone number with her followers.
“Whether you are paying for a dress, receiving a dress as a gift or borrowing a dress, you should always remember to give credit where credit is due,” Costello continued.
“The way Michael Costello chose to handle this situation is extremely disappointing,” Jeffries says. “I don’t stand for cyberbullying, which is why I felt the need to stand up for myself and tell truth behind the false accusations. I was never asked to tag or post anything, and to attack my character and portray me as something I’m not is not okay. Our platforms should be used to help spread positivity. We have enough hate going on in the world today and I wish to not waste any more time on negativity.”
Costello says he was “shocked” to see the incident garner the attention that it did. “I want to remind everyone that this situation isn’t about Chantel or me but rather something bigger than the both of us together — an increasing trend of designers being ignored and not given the proper credit for their art work,” he says. “I have been designing since the age of 15, and I’ve learned in my journey to always be grateful for those helping me and give credit where credit is due. It doesn’t matter if you are a seamstress in my showroom, a pattern maker, a stylist, a makeup artist, or even the janitor. I want to cultivate an environment where everyone is appreciated for their craft. So next time you find yourself looking glamorous from head to toe on the red carpet, don’t forget the people who got you there.”
The topic of social media etiquette as it relates to designer tagging is a timely one. Last week, Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, landed herself in hot water when she tagged the luxury brands she wore in an Instagram photo of her disembarking a government plane. The post went viral over a heated exchange between Linton and a commenter named Jenni Miller. Brands, including Valentino and Tom Ford, subsequently distanced themselves from Linton later that day.
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