It’s the ugliest scandal of this year’s New York Fashion Week.
On Monday, Joss Sackler will show her clothing line, LBV Care of Joss Sackler, at Bowery Terrace. It’s her first NYFW event. And stylish insiders are staying away.
“I’m skipping it,” said one invitee, an editor at a prominent fashion magazine. “I thought long and hard about [it], because a terrible last name alone does not preclude you from getting respect and success.”
But still, the editor said, she had a problem with the Sackler family’s notoriety.
A celebrity stylist who also declined the invitation agrees: “With all this going on with her family, couldn’t she wait another season?”
The Sacklers — the family of Joss’ husband, David — have made billions off pharmaceuticals including OxyContin. They were viewed as one of New York City’s most prominent and generous families, with their name plastered on buildings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History.
Now the family’s company, Purdue Pharma, is being targeted by more than 2,000 lawsuits for its role — including aggressively marketing the drug despite its known addictive traits — in the nation-wide opioid crisis.
Last month, NBC News reported that Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers were offering to settle the suits for $12 billion total. But the damage has already been done to the once-sparkling dynasty.
Joss, 35, has particularly felt the heat.
She and David — who sat on Purdue’s board until 2018 — relocated to Palm Beach from Manhattan this summer “in a bid to escape the imperishable stain of their scandal-soaked family’s OxyContin business,” according to a Page Six item.
But now she has reemerged, according to the show’s save-the-date mailer, as “the undeterred ‘phoenix,’ Joss Sackler, who celebrates the persevering and unyielding woman.”
A representative for Bowery Terrace said that between 75 and 100 attendees are expected for Monday’s event.
But the fashion editor doesn’t understand who would go.
“[Designer] Jeremy Scott already did a brilliant show with a pill theme,” she sniped. “Why would I want to see something subpar with the same message?”
The fashion editor also griped that the show invitation played it coy, with “Care of Joss Sackler” typed out in minuscule letters below “LBV.”
“It felt like an eye exam,” she said. “If you were a fashion person and you had 10 stacks of mail on your desk, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to look at that little, tiny thing and even know it was a Sackler show.”
Society publicist R. Couri Hay says there is also no way Joss’ well-heeled pals will risk sitting front row on Monday.
“I don’t think for one minute that these girls would willingly risk their reputations,” Hay said, regarding the clothing line’s association with the Sackler name.
In a recent interview with the luxury e-mail newsletter Air Mail, Joss defended her decision.
“When I get punched, I punch back,” she told the publication. “Perhaps I’ll try and learn that maybe punching back immediately is not the best reaction in the moment.”
Still, at least one person thinks the fashion world is being too puritanical.
“I want to go back to the days where you could just wear a dress and it didn’t have the DNA route of who touched it,” said public relations maven Kelly Cutrone, adding that her ex-husband died from an OxyContin overdose. “Everyone needs to calm the f–k down.”
One style-world source, who is also turning down the invitation, says don’t count on it.
“The only story to tell was of the shamelessness of this person pushing a fashion line amid the scandal surrounding her family.
“Absent that, what am I going for? To see some T-shirts? No thanks.”
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