This week, Owen Mooney, a male mannequin and graphic designer, stated that he was groped by Alexander Wang, an influential clothier, in a New York Metropolis nightclub in 2017.
Mr. Mooney made the accusations in a pair of movies he posted on social media. Quickly after, additional allegations of sexual assault and nonconsensual encounters had been made towards the 37-year-old designer, posted by Instagram accounts that didn’t establish the accusers.
On Friday, after days of silence, Mr. Wang responded to the claims — and the barrage of criticism he has confronted on-line.
“Over the previous few days, I’ve been on the receiving finish of baseless and grotesquely false accusations,” the designer wrote in an announcement despatched to The New York Instances. “These claims have been wrongfully amplified by social media accounts notorious for posting defamatory materials from undisclosed and/or nameless sources with zero proof or any fact-checking in any way.”
The allegations had been compiled and reposted on Instagram by two accounts with giant followings which have established themselves as vogue business watchdogs: Diet Prada, run by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, and another account devoted to exposing the interior workings of the modeling business. The New York Instances has not independently corroborated the allegations. Mr. Mooney didn’t reply to requests by way of e-mail and direct message for remark.
In 2019, Azealia Banks — a rapper and songwriter who’s a former muse and collaborator of Mr. Wang’s — shared a sequence of anonymous accounts on her Instagram stories of allegations of groping by the designer. In 2017, an individual named Nick Ward posted a Twitter thread that claimed Mr. Wang grabbed his genitals at a Brooklyn live performance.
In his movies, which had been initially posted on TikTok after which extensively shared on different platforms, Mr. Mooney stated that tales informed by others prompted him to go public along with his claims. His first TikTok video, made as a part of a present meme which asks customers to share bizarre movie star sightings, described the incident.
“I used to be on my own at one level and this man subsequent to me clearly took benefit of the truth that nobody might transfer, and simply began touching me up, like, totally up my leg, in my crotch,” Mr. Mooney stated (with one obscenity). “After which I regarded to my left to see who it was and it was a extremely well-known clothier and I simply couldn’t imagine that he was doing that to me.”
After scores of commenters responded to his video by naming Mr. Wang, Mr. Mooney posted a second video confirming the hypothesis. “Individuals with this type of standing, they suppose their energy provides them a go to do that to individuals,” he stated in a second video, referring to Mr. Wang. “It’s so improper. Any time I see his identify talked about, it simply jogs my memory of what he did.”
In his assertion, Mr. Wang stated “seeing these lies about me being perpetuated as truths has been infuriating.”
“I by no means engaged within the atrocious conduct described and would by no means conduct myself within the method that’s been alleged,” he continued. “I intend to unravel this and maintain accountable whoever is answerable for originating these claims and viciously spreading them on-line.”
On Monday, Mr. Wang’s Instagram account turned off the power to touch upon his newest submit. The official Instagram account for his model did the identical on all of its posts this week.
This week, vogue advocacy group Mannequin Alliance issued an announcement supporting Mr. Wang’s accusers.
“We at Mannequin Alliance stand in solidarity with those that have shared accusations of sexual abuse by Alexander Wang,” the group stated on Instagram. “Lets be clear: The style business’s lack of transparency and accountability leaves all fashions susceptible to abuse, no matter their intercourse or gender id.”
Recognized for constantly pushing the boundaries of what might be thought of excessive vogue over the course of his 15-year profession, Mr. Wang helped usher streetwear and sportswear into the luxurious lexicon.
For a time, the American was a younger upstart on the design helm of the revered French vogue home Balenciaga. Later, his namesake label pioneered the concept of runway reveals as sprawling public spectacles within the earliest days of social media. Usually, these occasions had been adopted by one among his well-known after-parties, the place inebriated punters might spray-paint automobiles, watch strippers writhe whereas consuming Hooters hen wings or bounce on bouncy castles as they rubbed shoulders with movie star friends.