In perhaps the most extensive report yet, the last of the holy trinity of fashion photography has been accused of sexual misconduct. Along with Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier — yes, that Patrick — was named among several stylists, agents, casting directors, and other industry figures to have acted inappropriately toward models while on the job. Via The Boston Globe, over 50 models reported to have been touched inappropriately during work-related situations, the violations ranging from "unwanted kissing to rape" while working with at least 25 of the industry's top professionals. Models who contributed to the report include Coco Rocha, Abbey Lee Kershaw, RJ King, and more.
Demarchelier, who was Princess Diana's personal photographer, is one of the industry's most renowned and prestigious figures, having shot the highest of profiled celebrities on the covers of magazines for decades. However, when allegations of Demarchelier's inappropriate behavior arose in December of last year, Condé Nast allegedly suspended their relationship with him. (The publisher also suspended its relationship with Terry Richardson, Bruce Weber, and Mario Testino). Demarchelier, however, told The Globe he "shoots for everybody."
Upon reaching out to Demarchelier's studio, the photographer told The Globe that it was "impossible" that the multiple allegations against him could be true, adding: "People lie and they tell stories. It’s ridiculous." The photographer went on to note that he is married, claiming he has “never, never, never" touched a model inappropriately. He further denounced the accusations as "pure lying" by models who "get frustrated if they don’t work." The article also includes videos of models who claim photographers frequently use their status against them, saying that if they don't do what the photographer is telling them, another model will. In the report, at least six models accuse Demarchelier of unwanted advances and propositions.
Among the photographers on the list are David Bellemere, Greg Kadel, Andre Passos, and Seth Sabal — the latter two are alleged to have exploited at least two models when they were teenagers. Stylist Karl Templer (of Interview fame) was name checked as well. It's important to note that many of the models interviewed spoke on the basis of anonymity, for fear of repercussions to their career. We've reached out to Patrick Demarchelier's studio for comment and will update this story if/when we hear back.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).