Balenciaga Is Called Out On Instagram For Model Mistreatment

The fashion house fires the casting agents involved.


Balenciaga announced that it has cut ties with casting agents Maida Gregori Boina and Rami Fernandes for alleged model mistreatment. Earlier this week, casting director James Scully took to social media to reveal upsetting incidences involving the pair at Balenciaga’s model casting for Paris Fashion Week. 

“I was very disturbed to hear from a number of girls this morning that yesterday at the Balenciaga casting Madia & Ramy (serial abusers) held a casting in which they made over 150 girls wait in a stairwell told them they would have to stay over 3 hours to be seen and not to leave,” Scully wrote in a widely-shared post on Monday. “In their usual fashion they shut the door went to lunch and turned off the lights to the stairs leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see. Not only was this sadistic and cruel it was dangerous and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatized.” He also claimed that other brands were refusing to see models of color for their runway and hiring underage girls for their shows. 

Soon after the allegations were made on Instagram, the post went viral among the fashion community and was shared by super models, including Edie Campbell, Karen Elson and more. In the comments, models like Julie Hoomans, Dilone, Joan Smalls and veteran super model Helena Christensen praised Scully’s act of speaking out, while another recalled similar treatment at the hands of the duo. “Oh Madia and Ramy.. I remember (those) endless hours waiting until they would see us,” commented Jelena Salikova, who is signed to Wilhelmina. 

Balenciaga was quick to react to the allegations. In a statement, the fashion label said it “took notice of issues with the model castings” and “reacted immediately, making radical changes to the casting process, including discontinuing the relationship with the current casting agency.” Additionally, Balenciaga sent a written apology to the agencies of the models who were affected by this specific situation. “Balenciaga condemns this incident and will continue to be deeply committed to ensure the most respectful working conditions for the models,” the statement concluded.  

Scully has promised to continue to shine a light on model maltreatment and put an end to an environment where models are discouraged from speaking out on their negative experiences in the fashion industry. 

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