Model Owen Mooney shared his encounter with the designer in an effort to give others "the bravery to come forward and tell their truth"

By Kaitlyn Frey and Colleen Kratofil
December 30, 2020 07:58 PM
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Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty

Designer Alexander Wang is facing sexual assault allegations.

The designer behind his eponymous New York-based label is facing backlash after the industry watchdog Instagrams, @s—tmodelmgmt and @DietPrada began sharing accounts, most anonymous, alleging sexual misconduct by the designer.

In one post the accounts shared, model Owen Mooney came forward in a candid TikTok video describing an encounter involving Wang. Mooney said he met Wang in a crowded New York City club in 2017 where he was groped by the designer in the genital area.

"I was by myself at one point and this guy next to me obviously took advantage of the fact that no one could f---ing move and he just started like, touching me up. And fully like, up my leg, in my crotch, like it made me freeze completely because I was in such shock. I looked to my left to see who it was and it was this really famous fashion designer. Like, I couldn't believe that he was doing that to me. It made me go into even more shock. It was really f---ed up," Mooney said.

While Mooney didn't name the assailant in his initial video, he did call out the designer by name in a follow-up post on TikTok when fans commented and correctly guessed it was Wang.

"This comment surprised me just because they actually got it right," Mooney said about a commenter who called out Wang. "Turns out Alexander Wang is a massive sexual predator," Mooney concluded, "and there's been a load of other people that he's done this to. So in that case, he needs to be exposed."

PEOPLE has reached out to a representative for Alexander Wang's brand for comment. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment to InStyle and WWD, and no third party has come forward to confirm, or contest, Mooney’s account.

In the post by S—t Model Management, the Instagram account declared, "Alexander Wang has been accused of sexual assault for a few years now. Instead of letting these occurrences be swept under the rug, it is time to do something about this. Please unfollow @alexwangny & @alexanderwangny to show your support to the victims."

The account then shared anonymous and unverified stories of the designer’s alleged inappropriate behaviors, with one unidentified person claiming Wang laced their drink with Molly (a variety of the stimulant MDMA) and another (also unidentified) claiming Wang coerced them into his room for the night.

Wang, who has tight-knit relationships with stars including Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Baldwin, has often glorified party culture in his runway shows and fashion designs. His Spring 2018 show was entitled #WangFest and featured headpieces with the words "Party Animal" and "Wangover."

On Tuesday, The Model Alliance, which works to “promote fair treatment, equal opportunity and sustainable practices in the fashion industry,” announced that it "stands in solidarity with those who have shared accusations of sexual abuse by Alexander Wang."

The statement, which was first reported by WWD, reads: "Let's be clear: The fashion industry's lack of transparency and accountability leaves all models vulnerable to abuse, regardless of their sex or gender identity."

The Alliance encourages anyone in need of support or help filing formal complaints to email support@modelalliance.org.

In an Instagram Story shared on Wednesday, Mooney wrote: "My face may be attached to this news, but I want it to be there to give others who experienced much worse than me, to have the bravery to come forward and tell their truth in an industry that is rooted in so much sexual violence, with many people abusing their power to commit such violent behavior."

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.