Teddy Quinlivan: ‘Fashion is like the mafia’

Teddy Quinlivan has likened the close-knit fashion industry to the mafia.The transgender model, a Fashion Week regular, has fallen foul of some in the industry after speaking out against the sexual assault models are often subjected to. Teddy publicly …

Teddy Quinlivan has likened the close-knit fashion industry to the mafia.

The transgender model, a Fashion Week regular, has fallen foul of some in the industry after speaking out against the sexual assault models are often subjected to.

Teddy publicly announced in April that she now refuses to work with publications and brands that continue to collaborate with “accused offenders of assault”, but her sentiment has left her shunned by some.

“My taking a stand and being unapologetic about it has rubbed some people in the industry the wrong way, to the point that they’re telling people not to work with me,” she told W magazine. “And since this is a very small, cliquey, almost family-run business – kind of like the mafia – p**sing off someone who’s friends with 10 other people can mean that all (of) the sudden you’re not walking these 10 shows.

“And that’s fine – I don’t need to walk those 10 shows, because at the end of the day, I have what other people don’t have, and that’s integrity, and I’m very proud of it and the fact that I haven’t had to change myself to fit this ideal of what a model is in the industry.”

She added that it’s important to stand up for yourself, and while she’s noticing the consequences of speaking out, it’s been worth it.

The 24-year-old also shed light on how abuse in fashion isn’t always necessarily of a sexual nature.

“This industry has no regulations – particularly when it comes to models, even though there are such young girls involved,” she said. “I actually think that a lot of times in the fashion industry, assault isn’t always necessarily sexual, but hugely dehumanising. There are a lot of jobs where you literally just stand there and aren’t allowed to talk.”

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