A Change.org petition has been created by a woman in the UK asking brands like teen fashion leaders H&M, NYC-based skateshop/street wear brand Supreme, editorial magazines like Vogue, along with many others, to stop using photos produced by “alleged sex offender” Terry Richardson.
Richardson is known for his salacious imagery of supermodels, actresses, pop-stars and other notable debutantes. Much of it has a stark, back-room feel as if shot after an all-night coke bender. Jezebel first published the article by Alice Ehrenfried of South Hampton, England. Here’s an excerpt:
A sometime model named Jamie Peck wrote of an experience she had on a shoot with Richardson six years ago. When she said she wanted to keep her underwear on because she was menstruating, Peck says Richardson asked her to take out her tampon so he could play with it, and make “tampon tea.” He insisted on being called “Uncle Terry,” and during their shoot, Richardson unexpectedly stripped naked.
“Before I could say ‘whoa, whoa, whoa!’ dude was wearing only his tattoos and waggling the biggest dick I’d ever seen dangerously close to my unclothed person (granted, I hadn’t seen very many yet).” In Peck’s words, Richardson eventually “maneuvered” her over to a couch in his studio, where he “strongly suggested I touch his terrifying penis.” When he ejaculated, one of his assistants gave Peck a towel.
We find this episode interesting because if said model Peck was so terrified by his actions then why did he end up, ahem, ejaculating?
Ehrenfried goes on to say that models do whatever Richardson says because he has so much power and influence and that agents book them. It also says Richardson earned $60 million last year.
We’re not going to wade too deep into the politics of fashion photography other than to say it’s the last industry that should be pointing fingers when it comes to the exploitation of women. The entire art & fashion world has long been associated and imbibed with sex, drugs, and every other taboo known to man.
Richardson has 400,000 followers on Instagram and 250,000 likes on Facebook. There’s obviously a market for his aesthetic, and as long as that remains the case, and he’s not doing anything explicitly illegal, he’ll be in business. Ultimately the models and celebrities that pose for him have it in their power as individuals to say no.