Ulrikke Hoyer made waves this week after she revealed she was sent home from a recent Louis Vuitton cruise show in Kyoto for being “too big.”
The 20-year-old model took to her Instagram and Facebook to recount the “humiliating” experience, saying she arrived in Tokyo (after 23 hours of traveling) and measured at 91.5 cm or 36 in. around her waist, which is a size 4 in U.S. clothing.
Upon being fitted for the show, she was told she was “too bloated” and “too big” for her ensemble. The casting director Ashley Brokaw‘s assistant, Alexia Cheval, then told her she needed to “drink only water for 24 hours.”
Despite following the guidelines, Hoyer was eventually sent home.
Rather than being told herself, Hoyer’s agent in France was notified via email, which The Business of Fashion obtained. Part of it read, “[Ulrikke] came yesterday in Tokyo to do her final fitting, and she doesn’t fit the exact same dress anymore. She has a belly, her face is more puffy [sic] and the back of her dress is open and you can see it is tight.”
For Hoyer, it wasn’t about being taken out of the show, but rather the way she was mistreated.
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“This is not about me being canceled from a show, I’ve tried that before (all girls on my level have) you win some and you loose [sic] some that’s the game,” she wrote. “But I cannot accept the ‘normality’ in the behavior of people like this. They find pleasure in power over young girls and will go to the extreme to force an eating disorder on you.”
Hoyer also told BoF, “I’m still a human and I need to be treated right…I know by saying my story and speaking out I’m risking it all, but I don’t care. Maybe this was my last job, then that’s it. I’m done with working for people that will treat me this way.”
Brokaw has since responded, telling BoF, “Honestly I think that it’s a lot of misunderstanding. 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.”
The casting director continued, “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.”
Still, Brokaw promises no one would ever ask a model to starve themselves.
“Nobody would ever tell anybody not to eat. It’s just not true. We have girls who are travelling for the first time from far away and they land and they want to beat the jet lag, so they start drinking tonnes of coffee and become dehydrated…We did everything we could to make sure that everybody was healthy and rested as much as possible.”
She added, “What is anybody going to do with the girl who hasn’t eaten in 24 hours? How is she going to walk on a runway?”
After revealing that she and her family have been receiving death threats since Hoyer’s posts made headlines, Brokaw said, “I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and I have never experienced anything like this. It’s horrific.”