Art school’s Eden Loweth apologizes for late payment of models – WWD

LONDON – Eden Loweth, the creator of emerging label Art School, apologized after their alleged exploitative behaviors were exposed by casting director Lucia Blayke in a series of Instagram posts this week.

Blayke, who presented the brand’s fall 2021 fashion show, accused Loweth, who uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” of not paying staff and models months after the show .

“Myself, the rest of the staff and the majority of the models still haven’t been paid six months after the show. Those who got paid were only paid after threatening Creative Director Eden Loweth with public calls. People shouldn’t have to resort to these kinds of nasty interactions just to get paid for their work and to be treated with respect, ”she said.

The casting director, who is fundraising for her latest gender affirmation surgeries, also said whenever she asked about the payment she was told Loweth had been diagnosed serious illness affecting their lifespan and they had been hospitalized, which is why they could not make the payments.

“I was stuck between my terminally ill employer and 45 people from the queer community whom I have known and respected for years. Eventually I got to a point where I told Eden that I would come to the studio and do whatever needs to be done to get people paid if they are too sick to do it. I was fired as a casting director and was told they already had a replacement for next season, ”she added.

Casting director Lucia Blayke, who accused the art school of exploitative behaviors, took part in the brand’s show in fall 2021.
Courtesy of the art school

“I told Eden on several occasions that I was having financial difficulties and that I had to be paid, and that this whole situation poorly reflected my reputation as a figure in the community, and they just didn’t care.” , she said.

Since the publication of Blayke’s Instagram post on Tuesday, several members of the LGBTQ community who marched for the art school show earlier this year have supported Blayke’s demand to pay everyone and to apologize. public.

Drag queen A’Whora, who made a surprise appearance alongside RuPaul’s Drag Race UK competitor Bimini Bon Boulash at the Art School fall 2021 show, said on Instagram: “Thank you for all your hard work! We are in the same boat. “

A’Whora then expanded on his opinion on Twitter, saying, “It’s so important to raise awareness about fees and funding for our queer community this month. PAY YOUR PRIDE! “

In another Instagram post on Thursday, Blayke gathered more allegations against Loweth, ranging from abusive behavior towards an in-house seamstress to not pitching an Asian model because “he looked too much like a sushi chef.”

Model Tyler With Rosacea, who has walked for the brand several seasons, said on Instagram: “I hunted almost every two weeks when I could hope for money. I often received an excuse for a payment rollout with an installment payment.

Artist Adam Allwood, who paraded for the fall 2021 show, said on Instagram: “Having to hunt Eden to get paid relentlessly was tiring. The answers were excuses and lies over and over again. I felt like the whole cast was being taken advantage of, and when that includes your friends and the gay people making ends meet, it stings even more.

Another model who took part in the brand’s Spring 2021 show and spoke to WWD on condition of anonymity said it took a long time to get paid after her agency chased the charges for months.

“I believe everything that is said against them and against the brand,” added the model.

In a statement sent to WWD, Loweth said they and the art school “take full responsibility for unacceptable late payments to vendors, contractors and community members, and are working tirelessly to resolve these. problems as quickly as possible. That the financial challenges of my own business over the past year have hurt people and caused so much struggle and upheaval never should have happened, and I take responsibility for anyone for whom this has happened. .

“My priority right now is resolving outstanding financial obligations, as I know how desperately these payments are needed. To anyone who was hurt or who did not feel heard by my actions – I am deeply sorry, ”they said.

Loweth added that it’s been a steep learning curve and lesson, and they hope other young business owners don’t make the same mistake they did.

At the same time, the designer lambasted those who tried to use the opportunity to discredit them and the integrity and character of the art school.

“I have been painted in a way that is just plain wrong through snapshots of interactions taken out of context, fabricated and sharing deeply personal and intimate details for myself,” they said.

“Parts of my community have launched a campaign against one of their own and attempted to compromise the integrity of an ally who, since the founding of the art school five years ago, has pleaded relentlessly for representation and change. “

Loweth added, “My initial reaction was not to respond while addressing the overdue payment issues, however the allegations made since then have become increasingly inflammatory and therefore compelled me to respond.

“I hoped that the question of payment, for which I accept full responsibility, could have been resolved between us and without the need to publicly discuss the financial situation of the art school, which has potentially damaging effects both for the business and the platform we have together created in it.

Kayleen C. Rice

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