Louis Vuitton Allegedly Fired This Model for Being Too Fat
Updated May 19: The casting director for Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show, Ashley Brokaw, has responded to the allegations that model Ulrikke Louise Lahn Høyer was body-shamed and then cut from the show. She spoke with Business of Fashion about the incident, explaining it was all a misunderstanding. “We were told before she came for her fitting that she was a 92cm hip. That was fine for everybody and we told the atelier to make whatever we needed to make for her. We said that we’d make her a look and that we want her in the show. She came to Paris, we made a fur coat to her measurements to her body and we confirmed her for the show,” she said.
She went on to explain that two weeks later in Tokyo, Ulrikke came in for her fitting and “the coat didn’t fit properly,” adding, “Once we were in Tokyo we were very limited by what we could do. We didn’t have the atelier to remake anything and we didn’t have a lot of other options to try on her, although we did try some other things on her and nothing quite worked. So it was a situation that was devastating all round.”Ashley also told Business of Fashion that since the model’s revelation, she and her family have been receiving death threats. “I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and I have never experienced anything like this. It’s horrific.”
Body-shaming in the modeling industry has, depressingly, been commonplace since the profession began, but that still didn’t prepare us for this latest story involving Louis Vuitton and 20-year-old Danish model Ulrikke Louise Lahn Høyer. In a long Facebook post written on Thursday afternoon, Høyer alleges that she was fired from the French fashion house’s recent Cruise show in Kyoto for being “too big” — and she’s a size 2.
As the model says in her post, she was initially flown to Paris to try on the outfits and audition for the show, and she was allegedly confirmed to model the Cruise collection before she even left the fitting. “I was excited to go to Japan and happy to know that even though I wasn’t in my skinniest ‘show-shape’ Louis Vuitton would still have me in their show,” she wrote. The day after she arrived in Kyoto, she had an additional fitting. “That day I ate a very small breakfast and had just water and tea before the fitting, because that’s how we do it … I tried my dress and the coat which I was confirmed fitted in Paris. I changed shoes and trousers a couple of times. Afterwards I tried on a puffy dress with a semi bare back and then I was done.”
However, problems soon arose. “Later that night my French agent called me and told me that [the show’s casting agent] had said that there had been some problems during the fitting,” Høyer wrote. “According to her, I had ‘a very bloated stomach,’ ‘bloated face,’ and urged me to starve myself with this statement: ‘Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours.’ I was shocked when I heard it.” The following morning, Høyer even said that the casting agent checked to see what she was eating for breakfast, something she didn’t do with the other models: “She said good morning to me and the other girls and then looked at me, then down on my nonexistent plate and up at me again. She was checking if I had been eating food.”
Sadly, later that day, Høyer said she found out that she was dropped from the show and would be sent home. Louis Vuitton had allegedly contacted her primary agent in Denmark, outlining that the decision was made because her “belly,” “face,” and “back” areas were problematic and bloated.
Høyer wrote that wanted to share her story not because she’s seeking revenge over being cut from the show, but rather due to the cruel treatment she experienced. “Such lack of respect and decency have let me to decide that I will never work under such conditions again,” she said. “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 … these sizes of the show pieces are made for women to have eating disorders. Go watch the show and see for yourself, even the smallest tightest pants are loose on the models they book.”
We’ve reached out to Louis Vuitton for comment and will update when we hear back.
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