A recent report published by The New York Times (NYT) exposed the "culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment" that penetrated the walls of Victoria's Secret (VS), a multinational manufacturer and marketer of women lingerie and beauty products.
The report, published on Feb. 1, highlights many incidents of verbal harassment and 23-year-old supermodel Bella Hadid's name was included in the victims' list. Multiple other current and former executives, employees, and models were also named as either complainants or defendants.
In one occurrence, Ed Razek, a top executive at VS for 27 years, made several sexual comments regarding Hadid's appearance, according to three people who were in the fitting room at the time of the incident.
This particular fitting session was prior to the well-know VS fashion show. The American with Palestinian roots model was being measured for underwear while Razek was sitting on a couch watching the process happening.
"Forgot the panties," Razek allegedly said, before asking whether the TV network would let her walk "down the runway with those perfect titties." The NYT reports one witness remembering Razek using the word "breasts" instead of "titties."
Though Hadid never fully came out, she did hint at past discomfort and distress while on the runway.
"That was the first time on a runway that I felt really sexy. Because when I first did Fenty, I was doing other lingerie shows and I never felt powerful on a runway, like, in my underwear," Hadid said last year according to WWD, referring to her debut in Rihanna's Savage x Fenty show.
Ed Razek's name stands out numerous times in the full report, but he denies all allegations
Though the report outed many prominent names in the retail brand, the one that stood out most was that of Razek. He was the subject of numerous complaints of inappropriate conduct, from trying to kiss models to asking them to sit on his lap; even going as far as touching one's crotch ahead of the 2018 VS fashion show.
Andi Muise, a model who was pursued by Razek, claims VS stopped hiring her to walk down the show's runway after declining his advances.
His response? Denying all allegations whatsoever. "The accusations in this report are categorically untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context," Razek wrote in an email to NYT. "I've been fortunate to work with countless, world-class models and gifted professionals and take great pride in the mutual respect we have for each other."
Months before the report was published, Razek was let go from his position at VS following an interview with Vogue that went haywire. When asked why the brand still hasn't caught up on inclusivity and diversity, he replied with "the show is a fantasy" and that the lack of plus-size models is because VS markets "to who we sell to, and we don't market to the whole world."
As of Feb. 4, Hadid hasn't commented on the report.