13 Of The Biggest Fashion Week Scandals Of All Time
Oh, how we love Fashion Month!
With successful Paris Fashion Week now officially in the books and New York Fashion Week in full swing, it’s hard not to get nostalgic as we gear up for what’s next as we move across the globe to London and Milan. We’re also reminded of the shows of fashion weeks past—and, of course, the epic scandals and controversies that rocked the fashion community and Hollywood’s biggest stars amidst the runway lights and camera flashes.
By now, fashion week followers know that the runways aren’t the only place to catch the drama and excitement. Sometimes, the most talked-about fashion week moments can unfold in the minutes before a show begins as the A-listers are taking their seats. And as last year’s NYFW taught us, after parties and award shows can also set the stage for some unexpected tension between the stylish high-profile attendees.
But that’s not to say that fashion doesn’t always take center stage. Now that more brands are using their collections to showcase their stance on issues, fashion week has also become a place for voices and opinions to be heard.
From the surprising heated feuds and the controversial runway collections to the not-so-funny high-stake pranks and merciless shade between designers, relive some of the biggest fashion week scandals of all time below:
Kim Kardashian Robbed At Gunpoint
In October 2016, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star was robbed at gunpoint inside her hotel during Paris Fashion Week. After pleading with her assailants, the men stole $10 million worth jewelry, including the 20-carat emerald, a cut diamond ring that husband Kanye West had gifted her. While recalling the devastating moment with E! True Hollywood Story, Kim said that the terrifying moment “changed my whole life.”
“That ten minutes really changed my whole life,” she explained. “You’re just kind of bracing yourself for the moment that they’re gonna shoot you and kill you. They tied me up. They wrapped duct tape over my eyes and my mouth.”
Gigi Hadid’s Chanel Runway Crasher
Handling the situation like a pro, the 24-year-old model saved the day when a prankster jumped up onto the runway at the Chanel Paris Fashion Week show in October 2019. Doing her best to blend in with a tweed monochrome outfit, the intruder, who was later identified as YouTuber and comedian Marie Benoliel (a.K.A. Marie S’Infiltre) joined the line of models during the finale. It wasn’t until she crossed paths with Gigi that she was reprimanded. The Victoria’s Secret alum blocked Benoliel getting away once security was notified and escorted her off the stage.
Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/WireImage, Randy Brooke/WireImage
Marc Jacobs Vs. Rihanna
Rumors alleged that the designer spitefully delayed the start of his Spring/Summer NYFW 2019 show to make attendees late for the Fenty mogul’s Savage x Fenty lingerie show, which was slated immediately after his. Known for starting his shows right on the dot, spectators noted that this was unheard of for Marc. The reason for the shade? Reports claim it was because he lost the 7:30 p.M. Slot to Rihanna, which had become his coveted spot for several seasons.
Taking to Instagram, he put the rumors to rest, saying, “I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone who was inconvenienced by my lateness at our Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show. For anyone interested, below is not a list of excuses but rather a list of facts. I fully understand people have plans, lives, commitments, flights, families to return to, etc and that I fully RESPECT.”
Jason Kempin/Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Nicki Minaj & Cardi B’s Harper’s Bazaar Fight
During the 2018 Harper’s Bazaar Icon Party, the two rappers were involved in a heated altercation after Nicki allegedly made a disparaging comment regarding Cardi’s parenting skills. In footage from the fight, the Hustlers star can be seen lunging and shouting at Nicki. Later on, it was revealed that she even hurled her shoe at the “MEGATRON” rapper, instantly becoming one of the most meme-able moments in NYFW history.
“It was so fast!” an eyewitness tells E! News. “I heart someone screaming—everyone recognized Cardi’s voice—people either got out of the way or took out their phones and started filming. Nicki was surrounded by a bunch of guards and barely even looked at her. Next thing you know, shoes were flying and Cardi was on her way out.”
Jeremy Scott’s Political Statement
For his 2018 NYFW show, the eccentric designer made a bold statement by wearing a white tank top that read, “Tell your senator NO on Kavanaugh,” declaring himself against President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. The controversial justice was later sworn into office in October 2018, but it marked a pivotal shift as more designers began using their runway slot to raise awareness for pertinent issues.
Justin Timberlake’s Paris Fashion Week Prank
As the *NSYNC alum made his way into the Louis Vuitton’s Paris Fashion Week show with wife Jessica Biel, he became the target of another Vitalii Sediuk red carpet prank. The infamous king of pranks grabbed Justin’s foot and held on with a tight grip, ending up on the ground in dramatic fashion. After he caused quite the stir, security removed the celebrity prankster from the scene and Justin and Jessica continued to enter the venue.
Thankfully, the “Man of the Woods” singer had a great sense of humor about the whole ordeal. On Instagram, he shared a picture of him and Jessica from the event, writing, “Last night at @louisvuitton. Human anklet not included.”
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Burberry Slammed For Noose Hoodie
The British designer was under fire following a controversial design featured in its Fall 2019 collection. In it, a model donned a taupe hoodie that had a rope noose replacing its drawstrings. Following the backlash, Burberry chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti issued a statement and removed the offensive piece from the collection. “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection,” he told CNN. “Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake.”
Members of the fashion community were quick to call out the insensitive hoodie. Among them was model Liz Kennedy, who slammed the fashion house via Instagram. “Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote, also pointing out that it evoked the “horrifying history of lynching” as well. “It is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway.”
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 4
Everything That Happened At The Yeezy Season 4 Show
Fans were excited to witness Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 NYFW show back in 2016, but their expectations were quickly squandered as the day unfolded. Taking place on one of the hottest days in New York, the rapper announced that the show would be happening on Roosevelt Island. Those attending the show were asked to take a shuttle bus to the show, which they were surprised to find had no air conditioning, snacks or water.
Slated to begin at 3 p.M., the show had a delayed start despite the Yeezy models being dressed and standing in position on the field. As they waited, several models began to sit down after feeling exhausted and one report claimed that one had even fainted from the heat. Unfortunately for Ye, the issues didn’t stop once the show started. Several models were unable to walk in their custom Yeezy heels, which resulted in some ditching their shoes as they made their way down the runway.
Marc Jacobs’ Dreadlocks Backlash
With an A-list lineup including Kendall Jenner, Adriana Lima, Karlie Kloss, Kaia Gerber, Irina Shayk and Gigi and Bella Hadid, the designer was criticized for cultural appropriation after having the models walk the runway wearing multicolored dreadlocks. Insisting that wasn’t the case and that their look was inspired by cyber goths, Marc addressed the backlash and called it “nonsense,” which made critics even more outraged.
He later addressed the matter in an interview, where he said, “What I learned from that whole thing, what caused me to pause after it died down a little bit, was that maybe I just don’t have the language for this.” Changing his position, he took to Instagram and apologized for “the lack of sensitivity unintentionally expressed by my brevity.”
Madonna Ditched Her Bra
Always one to put on a show, the singer made Fashion Week history when she walked the runway of Jean Paul Gaultier’s amFAR fashion benefit show topless in 1992. Donning a dress that exposed her breasts and walking hand-in-hand with the French designer, Madge flashed the crowd of over 6,000 people a big smile as she made her way down the catwalk. After the show, she said, “I was supposed to wear a top and jacket like Jean Paul’s, but at the last minute I decided it was better to go out topless!”
Taking place two years after her cone bra corset, which was also designed by Jean, made its debut during her Blonde Ambition Tour, Director of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Nathalie Bondil noted that the moment “proclaims feminine power.”
Gucci Accused Of Racism
During the Italian fashion house’s 2018 Fall/Winter Show, models walked the runway wearing a turtleneck that critics said resembled blackface. Unlike traditional turtlenecks, these black sweater were designed to be worn above the mouth and over the nose and featured a hole for the lips. Along with a red illustration of red lips, some spectators noted that the design closely mirrored the racist children’s book The Story of Little Black Sambo. Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri addressed the backlash in a statement, saying, “We are coming from a different culture. We are Italian. We don’t know all the cultural differences.”
Bstroy Anti-Gun Violence Misstep
In an attempt to share their stance on gun violence, streetwear brand Bstroy designers Brick Owens and Duey Catorze were under fire for featuring bullet hole-ridden sweatshirts in their New York Fashion Week show back in 2019. To make matters worse, the garments had “Sandy Hook,” “Columbine” and “Stoneman Douglas” written across them to bring awareness to America’s deadliest mass school shootings. Critics found the collection to be insensitive, but the duo explained that the blunt statement was a necessity. Speaking to The New York Times, Duey said, “That’s for you to know who we are, so we can have a voice in the market.”
Back in 2010, the ladies of The Real Housewives of New York brought their drama to the runway during Pamella Roland’s NYFW show. Former co-stars Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps got into a heated argument when The Countess seemed to make some digs at the Skinnygirl mogul over her feud with Jill Zarin. Not holding anything back, Bethenny said, “I don’t like you and I think you’re a snake,” to which Luann replied, “You’re nasty and I’m not going to do this here.”