Balenciaga has responded to a complaint from a model who reportedly took a "12 hour trip" to be fitted for its show only to not make the final cut. The luxury label, helmed by Demna Gvasalia, came under fire from fashion star and photographer Louise Parker, who claims she travelled for hours to take part in Balenciaga's Paris Fashion Week show on Sunday but was "cancelled" ahead of the event.
Alongside a photo of herself raising her middle finger on Instagram, Parker thanked the fashion house for the haircut and also wrote, "Now that you're finally paying attention to "model's rights" (I also got that doctors note to confirm a healthy BMI) maybe I'd feel better if I met with your so called therapist that's on call 24/7," referring to the brand's parent company Kering launching a charter to ensure the wellbeing of models.
Balenciaga has hit back at her remarks, insisting it paid for Parker to be flown to the French capital to try on several looks and never confirmed she would walk in the presentation. A spokesperson also insisted Parker and the hairstylist agreed on her cut and that she was paid the same amount of money as she would have if she'd walked in the show.
"Balenciaga is sincerely sorry for the disappointment of Louise Parker for not being confirmed for the women's spring 2018 show in Paris," the statement reads. "The house regrets that there seemed to have been a misunderstanding between Louise Parker and her agent about the fact that flying her for a 'go and see' fitting does not mean she would be confirmed. A 'go and see' or fitting never means that the model is confirmed for a show."
This incident comes after Balenciaga's former casting agents Maida Gregori Boina and Rami Fernandes were accused of leaving over 100 models waiting in a dark stairwell for three hours while the pair went for lunch during a casting. Casting director James Scully hit out at Balenciaga and other brands who used the two agents, leading to Balenciaga dropping them.
Scully too responded to Parker's recent post, thanking her for bringing it to light and reminding models that they have a "voice".