Yes, we’re dropping some names. 🧚
The fashion industry can be a very unwelcoming place for anyone who doesn’t fit its narrow idea of a “beauty standard.” Not even celebrities are safe from the harsh judgment and cruel words of the designers at its helm.
However, this hasn’t stopped a lot of celebs and influencers from taking back control by calling out the designers who tried to tear them down.
Here are 18 times celebs, influencers, and stylists called out designers for making them feel awful:
After Karl Lagerfeld claimed that Meryl Streep turned down one of his Chanel dresses in favor of a gown she’d been paid to wear to the 2017 Academy Awards, the actor called him out for defamation and said his statement “overwhelm[ed her] appearance at the Oscars, on the occasion of [her] record-breaking 20th nomination.”
Kevin Winter / Getty Images
In a statement, Streep said, “Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my stylist, and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in an important industry publication. That publication printed this defamation, unchecked.”
In 2012, after Karl Lagerfeld said that Adele was “a little too fat,” the singer told People, “I represent the majority of women, and I’m very proud of that.”
Dave J Hogan / Getty Images
She said, “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines.”In response, Lagerfeld told Metro, “I’d like to say to Adele that I am your biggest admirer. Sometimes when you take a sentence out of the article it changes the meaning of the thought. What I said was in relation to Lana Del Rey and the sentence has since been taken out of context from how it was originally published.”
Early in Zendaya’s career, her stylist Law Roach focused on emerging designers instead of big names because “a lot of the [high fashion] houses weren’t dressing Black girls.”
Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Via Getty
He told Paper Mag, “I really believed in her from the day she walked in. I thought she was a star and I wanted to throw everything that I had, anything that I could do, into her. I just felt like the world needed to know this girl so what it forced me to do was to start building relationships with emerging designers, which in essence was forcing me to be even more creative in a space that I already had no experience in.”
Thanks to his hard work establishing Zendaya as a fashion icon, now “everybody wants to dress her,” but Roach goes back to the high-end labels and says, “Not this season!”
Kristy Sparow / Getty Images
During the Hollywood Reporter’s Stylist Roundtable, he said, “It’s a big fuck you because we all know the [public relations] want to bring someone to you because ‘oh she can get her in Valentino’ but what I wanted to prove was that she doesn’t have to be in Valentino to become a fashion girl.”
When @TheCatWalkItalia posted a collage of Selena Gomez on Instagram in 2018, designer Stefano Gabbana allegedly commented, “She’s so ugly,” and a few months later, the singer subtly shaded him by wearing a sparkly clip that said, “Ugly.”
Pap Nation / SplashNews
Gomez’s mom, Mandy Teefey, told People, “When someone has a desire to speak out about something by using a word so hateful…we ignore it.”
Ahead of the 2019 Grammys, Bebe Rexha posted an Instagram video calling out the designers who “do not want to dress [her] because [she’s] too big.”
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Via Getty
She continued, “If a size six/eight is too big, then I don’t know what to tell you. Then I don’t want to wear your fucking dresses.”
After several designers reached out, the nominee walked the red carpet in a Monsoori gown, jokingly telling those who refused to work with her, “You wish you would’ve dressed my fat ass!”
MIC. DROP. @BebeRexha had a message to send to the designers that refused to dress her for the #Grammys 🎙💥
12:25 AM – 11 Feb 2019
@accesshollywood / Via Twitter: @accesshollywood
When a high-end label she purchased a lot from in the past told Dascha Polanco they couldn’t dress her because she’s “not the sizes [they] have,” she said that she “will not give them the pleasure” if they ask to dress her in the future.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
She told Vogue, “It’s disappointing, but I try to work with up-and-coming designers who will make things for me and who will collaborate with me. People who love my curves and embrace them as much as I do.”
In 2021, influencer Saucyé West launched the #FightForInclusivity movement, which is “challenging the consumer to take their power back and is asking buyers to boycott a group of popular plus size brands” until they expand their sizing beyond a 4X.
At a high-fashion photo shoot in 2019, Jameela Jamil tried on a designer dress that “exploded open on [her] ass,” so, addressing the designer on Twitter, she said, “Shame on you, not shame on me. I’m 33 and I’m 5’10.”
Todd Williamson / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
She said, “I really wish designers would just start pulling a Christian Siriano and making their samples bigger and making their sizes bigger and more inclusive.”
In 2018, fashion watchdog Instagram account @diet_prada, which is run by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, called out Dolce & Gabbana for mocking its Chinese consumers “with a parodied vision of what modern China is not…a gag for amusement” in an advertising campaign.
Jacopo Raule / WireImage / Via Getty
The Dolce & Gabbana founders issued an apology, but the company also filed a defamation lawsuit against Liu and Schuyler.In response, they filed a “defense of [their] freedom of speech.” On Instagram, they said, “Having cultivated Diet Prada as a platform where we can denounce racism, amplify stories from the larger BIPOC community, and hold the fashion industry to a higher ethical standard, has been one of the most rewarding experiences thus far, and our only hope is to protect that.”
During New York Fashion Week in 2017, Ashley Graham expressed her disappointment at the lack of body diversity on the runway, telling Yahoo! Beauty, “I was at [the Fenty show] last night, and that was an amazing show. But how dope would it have been to see some curves on the runway? I think Baja East would be really cool to have curves on the runway. Philipp Plein would be really cool.”
Jim Spellman / Getty Images
She said, “It’s funny to me, because I’ll look at runways and think, ‘I’d look so great in those clothes’ or ‘I know curvy women who would look so great in those clothes.'”
Even though she’d wanted to wear a Tarun Tahiliani design to her wedding since she was 12, influencer Dr. Tanaya Narendra (aka Dr. Cuterus) called out his bridal shop in Ambawatta for body shaming her and vowed to “never [go] there again.”
Early in her modeling career, Gigi Hadid “still had [her] volleyball body,” which she loved but designers told her wasn’t a “runway body,” so they’d only put in her clothes that fully covered her body — until Jean Paul Gaultier.
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
She told i-D, “For him to make me feel like he wanted me to shine in that way, it really meant a lot to me as a young model. And I know that he has done that for a lot of people.”
When designers refused to help Leslie Jones find a dress for the Ghostbusters premiere in 2016, she tweeted, “That will change, and I remember everything.”
Jb Lacroix / WireImage / Via Getty
Designer Christian Siriano stepped up to help her get the perfect gown. After people praised him, he tweeted, “It shouldn’t be exceptional to work with brilliant people just because they’re not sample size.”
After accepting Siriano’s offer to dress her, Jones tweeted, “Hmm, what a difference a tweet makes…Should I name the designers that didn’t look out?”
Mark Sagliocco / WireImage / Via Getty
She continued, “You will not get my love later.”
Before the 2019 Emmys, Aidy Bryant called out the designers who refused to provide as many cool options for plus-size people as they did for straight-size people, tweeting that it “seems like a fairly basic request.”
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Via Getty
In response, Eloquii reached out and offered to create a custom gown for Bryant, which she accepted.She told People, “To have this experience where they approached me and it’s not us begging them…and they’ve been like, ‘Let’s make this special.’ It’s been very glamorous to me in ways I maybe haven’t experienced before. So it’s been really, really positive…it’s been such a delight.”
In 2013, Nicola Formichetti was tasked with styling Kim Kardashian for an Elle cover shoot, but he had trouble finding designers who were willing to lend him clothes for the shoot because of what he called “fashion snobbery.”
Elle / Via youtube.com
However, Tom Ford, Sister by Sibling, and Roberto Cavalli rose to the occasion and lent clothes for Kardashian to wear.
Designer Maxie James told Paper Mag that in 2014, Michael Costello purchased a dress from her and then tried to pass it off as his own design on Instagram, and when she posted the receipts on her own page, he called her fans racial slurs in the comments.
However, James also said that, when she and Costello ran into each other in a fabric store a year later, he called her a racial slur, accused her of trying to destroy his business, then shattered her phone.
Michael Bezjian / Via Getty
“I just started fighting him, literally, we are in the fabric store, and I’m talking fabric flying, I mean it was bad, it was really bad,” she told Paper Mag. “[The next day] I just put out a statement and posted the video of the store owner that saw him verbally abusing me and I just told the truth. Look, I definitely didn’t handle it the best way, but honestly I didn’t know any other way.” Costello’s legal team told Paper Mag that he “vehemently denies her version of what transpired and is working with legal counsel to evaluate all his options.”
After Michael Costello called out Kylie Jenner on Instagram for failing to tag the smaller designers who create custom looks for her, Lala Kent shared a screenshot of his comment on her own story and alleged that he refused to make her wedding dress because she wasn’t a “big enough” star.
Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images
In response, Costello posted screenshots of a conversation he had with her wedding planner. He wrote, “You didn’t want to buy anything…we also confirmed an appointment for you, and it was a no show!”However, Kent responded, “You passed on me just like Kylie Jenner passes on you. Get over it.”
And finally, Leona Lewis alleged on her Instagram story that, after agreeing to dress her for a charity event in 2014, Michael Costello refused to alter a dress to fit her and then failed to show up to her final fitting because he “no longer wanted to dress [her] and he abandoned his commitments to [her] and the show, which made [her] well aware that [she] wasn’t the body type required.”
Sc Pool – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images
She shared her story following Costello’s claims that he’d been bullied by Chrissy Teigen, which she said was “the pot calling the kettle black.”
After her initial post, Costello reached out to Lewis personally and apologized, so she made another post, saying “Michael, [thank you] for your apology, I wish you healing and that you feel better.”
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows
On his Instagram, Costello wrote, “I have spoken my truth, and I’m going to leave it as is. The public can interpret however they like, but you know who I am.”
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