News & Runway

Danish Model Ulrikke Hoyer Accuses Louis Vuitton Casting Director of Model Mistreatment

Ulrikke Hoyer in Louis Vuitton’s spring 2017 show

Ulrikke Hoyer in Louis Vuitton’s spring 2017 show; Image: Imaxtree

Yesterday morning, Danish model Ulrikke Hoyer, a Louis Vuitton regular and favorite, took to Facebook and Instagram to level accusations against casting director Ashley Brokaw and her assistant, Alexia Cheval. Brokaw, who’s affiliated with Louis Vuitton and Prada, cast the recent Louis Vuitton Resort 2018 show at Japan’s Miho Museum.

In a lengthy Facebook post published yesterday morning, 20-year-old Hoyer claimed that she was cut from the show at the very last minute for being “too big.” This, according to Hoyer, was after she’d already been confirmed for the show at an April 25 fitting in Paris. (She notes that, back in April, she “wasn’t in [her] skinniest ‘show-shape,'” and thus was especially thrilled to be picked.) And so, a few days before the May 14 presentation, Hoyer took a 23-hour plane ride to Japan. According to Hoyer, she attended one fitting and was asked to return the next day for a follow-up and, in the meantime, to consume nothing but water.

I just returned from Tokyo/Japan, where Louis Vuitton held a beautiful cruise show in Kyoto, I just never made it to Kyoto cause I was canceled for the show due to being ‘too big’. (I’m a size 34-36) Ashley Brokaw’s caster Alexia had said that there had been some problems during the fitting. According to her I had “a very bloated stomach”, “bloated face”, and urged me to starve myself with this statement “Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours”. I was shocked when I heard it. 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 looked at me, then down on my non-existent plate and up at me again. She was checking if I had been eating food. At 7pm my mother agent from Denmark called my 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. Not only did I have a belly, my face was puffy now also my back was a problem. I am glad I’m 20 years old with an elite sports background and not a 15 year old girl, who are new to this and unsure about herself, because I have no doubt that I would then have ended up very sick and scarred long into my adult life. TO READ THE FULL STORY CLICK IN MY BIO!!!!!!! #LVCruise2018 #mistreatmentofmodels #AshleyBrokaw #thefutureisfemale #sowhyeatingdisorders #youknowitstrue #shareifyoucare #jamespscully

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Then, before Hoyer’s second fitting came around, Cheval emailed the model’s agent and canceled her appearance, citing issues with her measurements: “Nicolas [Ghesquière] was aware she was a 92 hips [sic] and fit her in a dress where hips were hidden,” read the email, which Business of Fashion released. “She 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.”

“This is not about me being canceled from a show,” Hoyer wrote in her Facebook post. “I’ve tried that before (all girls on my level have) you win some and you loose (sic) some that’s the game. 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. If this comes from them or some of the fashion houses I don’t know as I’ve only been dealing with the casters.” She goes on to absolve Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière of any blame, saying he’s “super nice and treats everybody with respect and even remembers all the girls names.”

While Brokaw admits that Hoyer was fired due to sizing issues, she holds that the water-only mandate is a complete lie: “Nobody would ever tell anybody not to eat. It’s just not true,” Brokaw told BoF. “We have girls who are traveling for the first time from far away and they land and they want to beat the jet lag, so they start drinking tons of coffee and become dehydrated.”

“Honestly I think that it’s a lot of misunderstanding,” she continued. “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.”

When informed of Brokaw’s response, Hoyer did not back down: “I didn’t write this story to have other people say, ‘Oh poor thing!’ or anything like that,” she told BoF. “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because I don’t care that I didn’t do that show — I have been canceled from shows before. It’s more about speaking out about these huge problems that are in the industry and some of the really big high-end fashion houses are part of these problems. If a girl comes into a fitting for a size zero dress and she’s 0.5cm too big or whatever, she will always be the problem. The dress will never be the problem. The other way around, if a girl comes in and a size 0 dress is too big for her, they will make a new dress or alter the dress for her. I think it’s crazy and it’s scary.”

Louis Vuitton has yet to issue an official response. Read Hoyer’s initial post here, then head over to BoF to read Hoyer and Brokaw’s full statements.