The Louis Vuitton casting director responded after model Ulrikke Høyer said she was fired from the brand’s Kyoto fashion show for being “too big.”
Høyer spoke out Thursday after she was sent home from the show, writing on Facebook that the casting agents said she ” ‘had a very bloated stomach,’ ‘bloated face’ ” and was told to “‘drink only water for the next 24 hours,’ ” despite losing .5 centimeters from her hips since she was originally booked for the show in April.
Ashley Brokaw, who runs the casting company Louis Vuitton hired to book the models — including Høyer — for the show, thinks the incident occurred because of “a lot of 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,” Brokaw tells Business of Fashion. “Two weeks later, in Tokyo [where the models went for fittings before the show in Kyoto], for whatever reason she came in for her fitting and the coat didn’t fit properly. 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.”
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Brokaw also denies that Høyer was told not to eat for the next day, saying that they told all of the models to only drink water because they didn’t want them consuming coffee, alcohol or soda. Brokaw also says that after Høyer shared her story, she and her kids have been getting death threats.
“I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and I have never experienced anything like this,” Brokaw says. “It’s horrific.”
Business of Fashion confirmed that Brokaw’s assistant, Alexia Cheval, sent Høyer and her agents an email calling her “puffy.”
“She was a 92 hips [sic] and fit her in a dress where hips were hidden. She came yesterday in Tokyo to do her final fitting, and she doesn’t fit the exact same dress anymore. She has a belly, her face is more puffy [sic] and the back of her dress is open and you can see it is tight,” Cheval wrote in the email.
Louis Vuitton has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Høyer says that the dress did fit when she tried it on in Tokyo.
“I actually lost weight when I arrived in Tokyo, but they thought I was too big,” she tells Business of Fashion. “Every outfit in that collection is made for a specific body and that specific body and it was fitted for me. I completely fitted the dress, in Japan as well. Why would Ashley’s assistant tell my agent things like that I have a belly and that I have a bloated face and that my back is bigger or different than it was in Paris?”
Since sharing her story, Høyer says that she’s heard from hundreds of other models who dealt with body shaming from Brokaw and her agents.
“I know by saying my story and speaking out I’m risking it all, but I don’t care,” she says. “Maybe this was my last job, then that’s it. I’m done with working for people that will treat me this way.”