F*ck Alexander Wang (And the Rest of the Fashion Industry’s Predatory Nature)
Breaking high fashion news just three days before ringing in the New Year, British male model Owen Mooney took to Tik Tok in a now-viral video explaining his weirdest public celebrity encounter. Without giving names, he explained how a “really famous fashion designer” spotted him alone in a New York City club and began to grope him, making him freeze in his steps. Now at 28.8k views on Tik Tok, the model’s voice gained traction during another video in which a Tik Tok user commented on his previous post asking if the celebrity happened to be Alexander Wang and the model came clean about the full story.
“So I thought in the previous video it was best to just not mention any names, but this comment surprised me because they actually were right,” he said in his video. “Turns out Alexander Wang is a massive sexual predator and there’s loads of people he has done this to. He needs to be exposed.”
The video had been picked up by popular Instagram page, @shitmodelmgmt, and reposted to which many other users came forward to tell their stories.
Asking to remain anonymous, one user sent the message, “Alexander Wang is absolutely known for these things you’re posting. One friend of mine, who is a trans man, was in a limo for an after-party with him a while ago. Upon getting inside the car, they were given water and they felt uneasy about the whole thing because Alexander Wang was making sure they all finished their water. A few moments later, they noticed they were rolling and had been given molly water. This was a regular occurrence, because a year after being told this story, I also heard other people confirm that they also got drugged on the way to an after-party.”
Another user messaged and said, “It happened in 2015. He threw a party at the Rah Rah Room for his new store in London, my friend worked at the store so I got an invite to attend. It was a fun night that went really sour when he wanted to continue the party at his hotel room. I’m not a big drinker and when I do drink I get drunk very fast. I was introduced to him and he took a liking to myself and a few other guys because we were dancing and having a very fun time. We ended up staying very late and he invited a couple of us back to his hotel room. Anyway, he became very sexually aggressive and forceful when I declined his offer to go to his hotel room. Especially as I had seen him and a few others taking drugs and getting high. The way he wouldn’t take no for an answer and basically wouldn’t let me go…”
Neither of these allegations, along with the dozens of others that came forward, come as no surprise looking back at Alexander Wang’s design history. His aesthetic for many years has focused on alcohol, drugs, and hard partying with campaigns focusing on “anything goes” walk of shame garments, and even going as far as collaborating with a known sexual predator, R. Kelly, back in 2017.
Mooney noted in his video that he believes it’s pretty f--d up how people with this status believe they have some sort of power to do this to people and how wrong it is. Celebrities, publications (we’re looking at you American Vogue), and friends of Wang have kept silent since showering him in affectionate posts on his birthday just a week ago. Add in the fame and wealth, and it’s no surprise he has been able to stay under the radar for so long with these types of actions.
Unfortunately, behavior from people like this often goes unheeded because they don’t fit the stereotypical look of a sexual predator, which in recent years with the #metoo movement has shifted from the typical look to focus more on high-status celebrities. What started with Harvey Weinstein had turned into people blacklisting several celebrities, and high fashion photographers and personnel, who believed their status and power allowed them to abuse and be protected from consequences.
To make matters worse, many of these encounters were with male and LGBTQIA+ individuals who statistically have higher rates of being sexually assaulted- and then less frequently outed- than straight females. According to the Human Rights Campaign website, for LGBTQIA+ survivors of sexual assault, their identities – and the discrimination they face surrounding those identities – often make them hesitant to seek help from police, hospitals, shelters, or rape crisis centers, the very resources that are supposed to help them. Statistics on the National Center for Lesbian Rights show that nearly half of bisexual men and four in ten gay men have experienced sexual violence. Transgender individuals are found to be the most harmed and the most likely to be affected in the LGBTQIA+ community. A whopping 64% of transgender people have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime.
Alexander Wang has since released a statement saying, “Over the last few days, I have been on the receiving end of baseless and grotesquely false accusations. These claims have been wrongfully amplified by social media accounts infamous for posting defamatory material from undisclosed and/or anonymous sources with zero evidence or any fact-checking whatsoever. Seeing these lies about me being perpetuated as truths has been infuriating. I have never engaged in the atrocious behavior described and would never conduct myself in the manner that’s been alleged. I intend to get to the bottom of this and hold accountable whoever is responsible for originating these claims and viciously spreading them online.”
He has also since removed the ability to comment on his last few Instagram posts, in response to individuals calling him out.
A weak apology at best, Wang blames Instagram accounts @shitmodelmgmt and @diet_prada for defaming his name and promoting these allegations, however, many of the allegations had come from outside sources who, without accounts like these, would have little to no voice that can be heard. This statement has come with mixed reactions of people quickly shutting down the allegations in favor of supporting one of their favorite clothing brands. Many people have even said that these accusations have been attempts at gaining “clout” since the accusers have low status on social media. To this, Mooney responded that he now understands why survivors don’t come out about their stories, especially men, as frequently as they should due to the nature of the abuser having the bigger platform.
So, what does this mean for the rest of the fashion industry? With the amount of traction this story is holding, it is hopeful many others will follow suit and hold abusers in the fashion industry accountable. If the more well-known models step up and use their platform to promote awareness on topics such as this, the industry could be turned upside down for the better.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are some LGBTQIA+-friendly resources listed below (from Human Rights Campaign):
National Sexual Assault Hotline – can also refer you to a local rape crisis center
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) 24/7 or
Online Counseling at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
1-866-331-99474 (24/7) or Text “loveis” 22522
The Anti-Violence Project– serves people who are LGBTQIA+
Hotline 212-714-1124 Bilingual 24/7
National Hotline (1-888-843-4564) or National Youth Talkline (1-800-246-7743)
Online Peer Support Chat (https://www.glbthotline.org/peer-chat.html) or Weekly Youth Chatrooms (https://www.glbthotline.org/youthchatrooms.html)
Text LOVEIS to 22522
The Network La Red– serves LGBTQIA+, poly, and kink/BDSM survivors of abuse; bilingual
Hotline - 617-742-4911
Northwest Network– serves LGBTQIA+ survivors of abuse; can provide local referrals