A 25-year-old African-American model Amy Lefevre, has said she was pressured to wear bizarre, “racist” accessories like “monkey ears” and oversized lips at a Fashion Institute of Technology exhibition, which she declined doing.
“I stood there almost ready to collapse, telling the staff that I felt incredibly uncomfortable with having to put on these pieces and that they were clearly racist,” said the model.
“Their response was, it’s fine to feel uncomfortable for only 45 seconds.”
Lefevre stood on her ground and ultimately walked the runway, but without wearing the racist accessories. Afterwards, she stormed out of the event immediately.
Lefevre, who has been in the modeling industry for four years and showed on more than two dozen catwalks, said she is no stranger to industry bigotry but had never experienced this level of bigotry.
“I was shivering. I could not control myself. I have never felt like that in my life.”
It has been evidently shown that people of color are struggling too much in 2020 from promoters. They could have vetted and cleared the accessories before the show.
According to the Press release, the fashion show was part of the celebrations of FIT 75th anniversary, founded in 1944. The design were said to be created by
The show was produced by Richard Thornn, creative director of British fashion production company NAMES LDN and directed by Jonathan Kyle Farmer, a FIT professor and chair of the new MFA Fashion Design. While the designs were created by recent FIT grad Junkai Huang.
It was reported that several complaints had been sent, but Huang, Farmer and Thornn did not respond to requests for comment.
Lefevre said her agency, Q Model Management, was “infuriated” when she told them what transpired, though a rep for the company told The Post they had received “conflicting reports” about the runaway show and suggested Lefevre’s account was unreliable.
An anonymous student who was behind the stage observing the event backed up Lefevre’s version of the story.
“We brought the issue up to [Thornn] several times,” the witness said. “We said, ‘She cannot put this on. This is wrong.’ He screamed in my face, ‘You need to back down and get away.’ It was such a grave lack of judgment.”
However, non African American models wore the accessories down the runaway.
The meltdown comes at a sensitive time as the fashion industry grapples with the desire to push the envelope with edgy new designs and the land mines of race.
Moreover, in 2018, Gucci received a huge blow for a “blackface sweater” which led to calls from celebs like 50 Cent and Spike Lee to ostracize the brand.