I actually felt sorry for Philipp Plein when he unwittingly got scammed by a con artist pretending to be Kanye West’s representative late last week. I definitely do not feel that way anymore.
The designer is facing a well-deserved backlash for publicly bullying an influential journalist who wrote a negative review of his Fall 19 show in New York City. Fashion writer Alexandra Mondalek published her critique to Fashionista where she labelled Plein’s collection and show experience as “tragic”, “disorganised” and “disappointing”.
“While everyone invited was under the impression it was a seated dinner, there was seating for, at most, two-thirds of the guests,” remarked Mondalek. “A group of showgoers and editors was herded like cattle to a standing-room-only balcony bar near the photographers’ scrum; I’d have worn more comfortable footwear than black tie-appropriate heels had I known I’d be standing, pushed against a large wooden door for nearly two hours.”
Mondalek also called some of the looks “a regurgitated tasting” of other designers like Versace, Alexander Wang and Tom Ford. “One particularly awful costume came in the form of a matching black leather corset and ruffle mini skirt and suede-fringed Yeti boots,” she wrote. My favourite line, however, was how Mondalek described Plein’s muse as “an urban cowboy futurist with a trust fund and a coke problem” before concluding her piece by calling the brand a “tacky joke”.
It was harsh. But that’s her job. Criticism is part of fashion, after all.
A disgruntled Plein responded to the review by shaming Mondalek to his 1.6 million Instagram followers. It is truly disgusting behaviour. “I like it when journalists are objective and trustworthy…especially if they write bad after a fashion show just because they did not get paid with food…,” Plein wrote on a series of posts.
The designer then sourced and posted an old picture of Mondalek and captioned it, “Next time I’ll make sure that you will get enough food! I promise…”
Here are screenshots from Mondalek’s account where she reposted Plein’s scathing stories.
Alexandra Mondalek is a young woman, the very consumer Plein is selling his collection to. The way he has handled the criticism and publicly attacked her is unprofessional, immature and he should be held accountable for this appalling behaviour.
Plein deleted these posts and has, as of five hours ago, posted another series of videos where he addresses Mondalek. This time, however, he’s apologising. “I don’t think you realise how much work and energy I put into that show,” he said. “I felt your article was not based on facts but rather emotion and I responded that way. I definitely made a mistake by posting your picture.”
He then said the fact that he posted her picture with a reference to food was nothing to do with her weight. “You were talking about food in your article. If you were talking about chairs, I would have posted chairs. I have no problem with overweight [people].”
What an absurd apology. Plein concluded by inviting Mondalek to his next show where he promises she will be accommodated. That is one invite we’re sure she’ll decline. She has addressed the incident here.
You do not speak to women like that.