By. Michelle Diaz
Fashion designer Alexander Wang, known for his urban silhouettes and iconic use of the color black, has been accused of sexual harassment by male models and members of the LGBTQ community.
The recent allegations towards Wang began with a Tik Tok in December 2020 made by male model Owen Mooney, who recounts that Wang sexually harassed him at a nightclub. In the video, Mooney claims that Wang took advantage of the dark nightclub environment and touched him inappropriately. Mooney explains the situation was very shocking and uncomfortable.
In a subsequent Tik Tok video Mooney states, “Turns out Alexander Wang is a massive sexual predator.”
Mooney explains that since his first video exposing Wang as a sexual harasser, he has discovered through Instagram that others have experienced similar uncomfortable encounters with Wang. The Instagram account ‘shitmodelmgmt,’ a safe space for models with 239,000 followers, shared Owen Mooney’s Tik Tok videos. Subsequently, many followers began to share their own unpleasant experiences with Alexander Wang through the platform.
An Instagram story highlight titled ‘Alex Wang’ can be found on their Instagram page. This is a compilation of Mooney’s Tik Tok videos and tweets as well as DMs that recall sexual harassment from Wang towards other models and LGBTQ.
Heterosexual men and women tend to receive lots of media recognition when they say they’ve experienced sexual harassment. But I believe that it is just as important to listen to LGBTQ members’ claims of sexual violence. Time and time again, transgender men and women are assaulted and victimized by others, and the outrage isn’t nearly enough compared to the ferocity of backlash for heterosexual women’s claims.
In January, Alexander Wang posted a public statement to his Instagram claiming that the allegations made against him are baseless and that his team will be investigating the claims. In the statement, he says that he promises to remain honest throughout the process.
A day later, Owen Mooney voiced his disappointment for the lack of support towards those who have come forward as victims of Wang. He suggested that because these allegations come from men and trans people, their stories of sexual assault are not taken as seriously as those of heterosexual women.
Mooney used #UsToo for his posts regarding Wang, a hashtag created after the #MeToo movement. The new hashtag is used to bring attention to those whose race and sexual orientation have been why the media often overlook their stories of sexual assault.
Wang remains adamant that the claims are false. Yet, the growing evidence against Wang by models - who are putting their careers at risk and jeopardising relationships with potential designers by voicing their experiences - indicates more to the story than Wang’s obstinate refusal of responsibility suggests.
Personally, I find it disappointing that many friends of Wang’s are well-known celebrities with large platforms, and yet few celebs have spoken out. If the allegations are true, Wang is not only a sexual harasser but an architect of emotional and physical hardship in models’ lives and careers. Models are already vulnerable to eating disorders and body dysmorphia due to harsh industry standards. With sexual harassment in the work environment like the rancid cherry on top, Wang may have caused irreparable damage to those who trusted him most.