Condé Nast has confirmed that it will no longer be working with two of the fashion world’s most renowned photographers, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, after allegations of sexual exploitation surfaced around both of their names.
In a piece that was published this past Saturday, two dozen and counting current and former male models told stories about unwanted sexual advances from Weber and Testino to the New York Times. The alleged incidents ranged from nudity, inappropriate touching, masturbation and other sexual advances with some dating as far back as the mid-1990s.
“I saw him with his hands down people’s pants at least 10 times,” said Thomas Hargreave, a shoot producer who once worked with Testino.
“We are deeply disturbed by these accusations and take this very seriously,” Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and editor of Vogue, and Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., chief executive of Condé Nast, said in a statement. “In light of these allegations, we will not be commissioning any new work with Bruce Weber and Mario Testino for the foreseeable future.”
Wintour also said in a separate statement that the stories have been really “heartbreaking” for her.
“Both are personal friends of mine who have made extraordinary contributions to Vogue and many other titles at Condé Nast over the years, and both have issued objections or denials to what has emerged,” she wrote. “I believe strongly in the value of remorse and forgiveness, but I take the allegations very seriously.”
Weber has so far denied every claim and said he never recalls any wrongdoing, while Testino’s lawyers have questioned the credibility of some of the pieces in the Times story. Other brands such as Stuart Weitzman, Michael Kors and Burberry have all announced plans to cut ties with the photographers.
In light of all the allegations, Condé Nast has released a new set of protocols in efforts to create a safer work space and to prevent any further sexual harassment. Some of the rules include setting the minimum age for models to 18, no drugs or alcohol on sets and the advanced approval of any shoot that involves nudity, sheer clothing, lingerie, swimwear, simulated drug or alcohol use or sexually suggestive poses.