Wolfgang Joop has apologized after he was accused of glorifying abuse in a bygone fashion era.
The German designer told Der Spiegel that agencies used to give “rich men” keys to models’ rooms.
“If a girl complained, she was told, ‘We can always do without you,'” he told Der Spiegel.
German designer Wolfgang Joop has publicly apologized after he made remarks that led some to accuse him of celebrating a bygone era in fashion that condoned the sexual abuse of models, The Times of London reports.
In an interview published in the German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday, the founder of fashion and beauty brand Joop! said that he cried after the death of Karl Lagerfeld because it brought to a close a time in the world of fashion when “everything could be bought,” according to The Times.
“The agencies gave rich men the keys to the rooms of models who didn’t bring in so much money. And if a girl complained, she was told, ‘We can always do without you,'” the 76-year-old told Der Spiegel’s Martin U. Müller and Tobias Rapp, The Times reported.
According to The Times, when one of the interviewers told Joop that “that was terrible,” he said: “Yes, but the fashion world is only really beautiful when there is also sin.”
The Times reported that Joop’s interview swiftly caught attention on social media, with some Twitter users calling out Joop’s comments “abusive and misogynistic” and that he was “celebrating forced prostitution.”
Representatives for Wolfgang Joop did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In the statement, he said he was pointing out the “corruption and frivolity of the seventies and eighties of the industry, which unfortunately also included the disrespectful and abusive treatment of models.”
“My statement about sin in the fashion world was out of place in the context. I would like to sincerely apologize for this and emphasize that I deeply reject any form of abuse of power and violence then and now,” Joop added.
Joop! is a German luxury brand that was founded in Hamburg in 1986 and as of 2020, it had 1,200 points of sale and a further 12 franchise stores around the world, Fashion United reported. The brand previously featured actress Milla Jovovich as the face of a 2018 fragrance campaign, while the designer also appeared on “Germany’s Next Top Model” alongside Heidi Klum in 2015, according to the Mail Online.
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