Danish fashion model Ulkrikke Hoyer has spoken out against Louis Vuitton and Prada casting director Ashley Brokaw after she was cancelled for being “too big.” Through Facebook, Hoyer wrote a lengthy post in detail discussing what had occurred. She discusses skipping out on a dinner party that Louis Vuitton had organized in fear of being seen eating and most horrifyingly, being told that she “needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours,” essentially urging her to starve herself prior to the show. Alexia Cheval from Ashley Brokaw additionally said that Hoyer had “a very bloated stomach” and a “bloated face.”
Hoyer states, “I woke up at 2am and was extremely hungry. The breakfast started at 6:30am — I had the absolute minimum. I was afraid to meet Alexia so my luck she didn’t arrive until 8am, when my plate was taken off the table. She said good morning to me and the other girls and then looked at me, then down on my non-existent plate and up at me again. She was checking if I had been eating food… Just before 12am my fitting got rescheduled to an unknown time later that day. It didn’t happen because at 7pm my mother agent from Denmark called me to tell the sad news that Louis Vuitton had chosen to cancel me from the show without the refitting and that I was going to be sent back home… I didn’t know whether I should cry or laugh.”
When she arrived back to Copenhagen, she was remeasured in attempt of finding reason behind Louis Vuitton’s cancellation, and instead, it was discovered that she was 91.5 cm, 0.5 cm from the original 92 that had been noted down for the Cruise 2018 Vuitton show.
Ashley Brokaw spoke to Business of Fashion stating, “Honestly, I think that it’s a lot of misunderstanding,” she says. “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. We said that we’d make her a look and that we want her in the show. She came to Paris, we made a fur coat to her measurements to her body and we confirmed her for the show. Two weeks later, in Tokyo, 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.”
Through social media, high profile casting director James Scully expressed support for Hoyer. “She was courageous to speak out,” he said. “Come September I ask all casting directors and stylists who see and share this post, let’s all support Ulrikke and book her for our shows and print and send a message to the industry and to every model afraid to speak that she did the right thing and moved us forward.” Scully’s support is of no shock. Just last February, he caused major headlines when he called out Balenciaga casting directors Madia and Ramy for sadistic and cruel treatment of the models during their castings.
All this issues concerning weight and body image have been long problems within the fashion industry, even leading France to pass a model health law that wouldn’t allow them to work if they were “excessively then.” The way it works is by mandating that models get medical certificates deeming them “fit for work.”