Danish model Ulrikke Hoyer put a Louis Vuitton casting director on blast for allegedly firing her from a fashion show for being “too big.” But now, the women who let her go says it’s all just one big “misunderstanding.”
The 20-year-old model went viral on Thursday after recounting her experience on Instagram and Facebook, explaining how she was first fitted in Paris, then flown to Japan for a Louis Vuitton Cruise 2018 show, where she measured 36 inches around her hips. Hoyer claims she was told by casting director Ashley Brokaw that she had a “very bloated stomach” and that she heard Brokaw tell her assistant, Alexia Cheval, “Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours.”
In an email exchange between Cheval and Hoyer’s Paris agent Arnaud Daian, obtained by The Business of Fashion, Cheval wrote: She came yesterday in Tokyo to do her final fitting, and she doesn’t fit the exact same dress anymore. She has a belly, her face is more puffy [sic] and the back of her dress is open and you can see it is tight.”
While Hoyer called the ordeal a “very humiliating experience,” Brokaw tells a very different story.
“We were told before she came for her fitting that she was a 92cm hip. That was fine for everybody and we told the atelier to make whatever we needed to make for her. We said that we’d make her a look and that we want her in the show. She came to Paris, we made a fur coat to her measurements to her body and we confirmed her for the show. Two weeks later, in Tokyo, for whatever reason she came in for her fitting and the coat didn’t fit properly. Once we were in Tokyo we were very limited by what we could do. We didn’t have the atelier to remake anything and we didn’t have a lot of other options to try on her, although we did try some other things on her and nothing quite worked. So it was a situation that was devastating all round.”
Brokaw also vehemently denied that her assistant would advise Hoyer against eating.
“Nobody would ever tell anybody not to eat. It’s just not true. We have girls who are traveling for the first time from far away and they land and they want to beat the jet lag, so they start drinking tons of coffee and become dehydrated. We had an issue in Rio a year ago at the Resort show when the Norovirus ripped through our hotel, and 50% of the girls got sick, including some of my assistants. We did everything we could to make sure that everybody was healthy and rested as much as possible.”
Read Hoyer’s lengthy account of what she says happened below:
When I tell people I work as a model, I always get a very positive responds as people have this idea that modeling is so easy and amazing and everything about being a model is glamorous. They are right, but far from all the time.
The flip side of the coin is very different and anything but glamorous. With my background since I was 6 as an elite tennis player I’ve been used to high expectations and also to gain a good understanding of nutrition and hard training and therefore …I also know that the demands and expectations that is given to the high end fashion models in the industry are often completely unattainable and directly damaging to the human body.
When returning home from many of my trips I have often told my family that I think I look big compared to the other girls and that they are a lot skinnier than myself. As good and understanding parents, well off course they didn’t believe me as they could see that I was very skinny and sometimes worried that I was even unnaturally thin. But when my mom followed me around for show castings, she experienced it first hand. She was shocked to see how unhealthy and sad the majority of the young girls appeared. Many of the girls don’t have their periods, and/or changes the color of their skin because of bad and incorrect nutrition and almost everyone have a completely distorted relationship with food. Sadly enough this is the truth, I can say this because I see and hear this all the time on jobs and shows.
I just returned from Tokyo/Japan, where Louis Vuitton held a beautiful cruise show in Kyoto (the 14th of May), I just never made it to Kyoto cause I was canceled for the show due to being ‘too big’. (I’m a size 34-36)
Months before the show, Louis Vuitton had shown interest in using me and put in an option.
23rd April comes along and I’m measured at my Danish agency and my hips are 92 cm. Knowing the sizes of the clothes, the rigidity of the casters, we decide to tell the caster that I’m under the weather (yes a little white lie) and can’t come to Paris for the fitting the 25th of April and therefor can’t do the show in Japan. Alexia Cheval from Ashley Brokaw Casting asks my French agent if this is the truth and what we can do. We decided to tell them the truth and LV insisted on flying me straight to Paris the next day. I went to the fitting (tried on a dress and a coat) and before I even got back into my own clothes they confirmed me to the show.
I was excited to go to Japan and happy to know that even though I wasn’t in my skinniest ‘show-shape’ Louis Vuitton would still have me in their show. Meanwhile I was working very hard to get my measurements back to “right” (it gets harder and harder each time, it is like my body is working against my hard work, doesn’t respond like it used to).
The day before leaving I did updated measurements at the agency and now I was 91,5 cm on my hips so I had lost 0,5 cm. At least I was smaller than when they confirmed me, I was relieved.
After a 23 hour journey I arrived in Tokyo Wednesday night (10th of April). Thursday at 3:30pm I had my fitting. That day I ate a very small breakfast and had just water and tea before the fitting, because that’s how we do it… I tried my dress and the coat which I was confirmed fitted in Paris. I changed shoes and trousers a couple of times, (also very normal procedure as they want to find the best look). Afterwards I tried on a puffy dress with a semi bare back and then I was done. Right after I had a call from my French agent who told me that I had a refitting the day after (Friday) at 12am (my Danish agent tells me afterwards that Alexia had told my French agent that I needed to take this serious.) Later that night my french agent called me and told me that Alexia had said that there had been some problems during the fitting. According to her I had “a very bloated stomach”, “bloated face”, and urged me to starve myself with this statement “Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours”. I was shocked when I heard it. This was exactly what we have wanted to avoid when we tried to cancel because I was ‘bigger’.
That same evening Louis Vuitton had arranged a nice dinner and karaoke for all the models. I stayed home hungry in bed, because I didn’t want to sit and eat in front of a women who had just expressed that I did not need food.
I woke up at 2am and was extremely hungry. The breakfast started at 6:30am – I had the absolute minimum. I was afraid to meet Alexia so my luck she didn’t arrive until 8am, when my plate was taken off the table. She said good morning to me and the other girls and then looked at me, then down on my non-existent plate and up at me again. She was checking if I had been eating food.
Just before 12am my fitting got rescheduled to an unknown time later that day. It didn’t happen because at 7pm my mother agent from Denmark called my to tell the sad news that Louis Vuitton had chosen to cancel me from the show without the refitting and that I was going to be sent back home. Not only did I have a belly, my face was puffy now also my back was a problem, they now thought that I fitted the dress on my back differently than in Paris… (also saw this on an email at my agency when I came back) I didn’t know whether I should cry or laugh.
I went to dinner with the others models and consciously put my back to the room as I would not be confronted with the people who had just humiliated me on the most ridiculous and unfair basis – I had only done what I’ve been told. 3 hours later I was on a plane going back home.
What should have been a truly amazing and unique experience ended up being a very humiliating experience.
If it was just because they canceled my look (as I didn’t see it on the catwalk) then why the need of harassing me.. saying/writing these things to my agents. Such lack of respect and decency have let me to decide that I will never work under such conditions again.
I arrived back home in Copenhagen Saturday the 13th and my agency asked me to come in first thing Monday morning to see if there was any truth to the reason of the cancelation.
They measured me and took digitals and I was 91,5 cm on my hips (see picture) so again 0,5 cm from the 92cm I was in Paris for the fitting.
(My Danish agency had expressed a wish to my French agency that they would like to have me back in the fitting and have a picture taken, so we could see for ourselves but Alexia had said that there was no way that they would send a picture of a dress that had not been on the catwalk yet, so we got an email instead explaining the cancelation without a picture.)
This is not about me being canceled from a show, I’ve tried that before (all girls on my level have) you win some and you loose some that’s the game. But I cannot accept the ‘normality’ in the behavior of people like this. They find pleasure in power over young girls and will go to the extreme to force an eating disorder on you. If this comes from them or some of the fashion houses I don’t know as I’ve only been dealing with the casters (Alexia and Ashley on cc). Nicholas is super nice and treats everybody with respect and even remembers all the girls names etc. but these sizes of the show pieces are made for women to have eating disorders. Go watch the show and see for yourself, even the smallest tightest pants are loose on the models they book.
I am aware that I’m a product, I can separate that but I have seen way too many girls who are sooo skinny that I don’t even understand how they even walk or talk. It’s so obvious that these girls are in desperate need of help. It’s funny how you can be 0,5 or 1 cm ‘too big’ but never 1-6 cm ‘too small’.
I am glad I am a 20 and not a 15 years old girl, who is new to this and unsure about herself, because I have no doubt that I would then have ended up very sick and scarred long into my adult life.
I have worked/and work with so many wonderful people as well and have great experiences, so a big up to all of you amazing clients with human hearts.