Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang

'Grabbed my p*nis': Designer Alexander Wang faces new sexual assault allegations

Design student Keaton Bullen is the latest person to come forward with allegations that Alexander Wang sexually assaulted him in a nightclub in 2019. From undressing people in public to lacing drinks with drugs, here's a rundown of (most) of the allegations against the acclaimed designer.
By Alfea Jamal, Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:25 AM IST

Acclaimed American designer behind the eponymous brand, Alexander Wang is under fire once again after a New York student recently accused him of sexual assault. Keaton Bullen, a fashion student at the New York's Parsons School of Design, is the latest person to come forward with allegations that Wang assaulted him in a nightclub in August 2019. Wang's fashion label did not immediately respond when contacted for comment by AFP.

In an interview with the BBC, Bullen spoke about how he and the designer initially spoke of their mutual alma mater, following which the 37-year-old designer invited Bullen and his company to a table, offering to buy them vodka, which was followed by hitting the dance floor. Everything went awry in the early hours when Wang assaulted the interior design student. Bullen said, "All of a sudden he unzipped my trousers, put his hands in my pants and started grabbing my penis in front of a bunch of people. I completely froze."

Bullen further alleged, "He then said: 'I want to take you home with me.' I felt weirded out... and removed myself from the situation as fast as possible." Saying that he only came forward because he wanted to support those who made several allegations but were called 'liars'.

Paul Tweed, one of Mr Wang's lawyers, said they are awaiting CCTV footage from the nightclub and said that "his client believes will totally disprove this allegation".

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who specializes in harassment and sexual assault cases, told AFP that she represents 11 men who claim to be victims of the 37-year-old Wang. She said the men had not pursued charges or civil claims yet but added that they are not ruling it out.

Last December, a British model, Owen Mooney, accused Wang of groping him at a nightclub in January 2017. The Brit uploaded his statement via a video on TikTok, and said: “I was by myself at one point and this guy next to me obviously took at advantage of the fact that no one could f**king move.” The model went on that Wang “'just started touching me up, like, fully up my leg, in my crotch. It made me freeze completely me because I was in so much shock. And then I look to my left to see who it was and it was a really famous fashion designer and I just couldn't believe that he was doing that to me.”

Owen also uploaded a follow up video expressing his disdain at the 'radio silence' on the several allegations against the designer from the fashion industry since most victims were 'trans, queer and male', and said that the designer needs to be “exposed” and “cancelled.” He shared on social media, "It seems #MeToo quite possibly could be lacking in inclusivity."

He added, “...turns out Alexander Wang is a massive sexual predator. He needs to be exposed. People with this kind of status, they think their power gives them this pass to do this to people." Adding, "“It's so wrong. Any time I see his name mentioned...it just reminds me of what he did. He just needs to be cancelled.”

Trans model and DJ Gia Garrison, now 24, also went through a similar ordeal in February 2017, when according to her statements Wang allegedly pulled down her bikini bottom on a crowded dancefloor. She told the BBC, "I was dancing near him when he reached out his hand, grabbed my bikini bottoms and dragged it downward in front of everyone. As a trans woman with discomfort about certain parts of myself that I've since grown to love, I don't want someone to expose my entire body like that."

Adding that she doesn't believe in cancel culture, but refuses to wear the designer's clothing, she continued, "I think it's dangerous and doesn't solve a problem. What really matters is if the person truly works on themselves, educates themselves and decides to make a change."

Wang's lawyers denied this allegation saying, the designer "never grabbed any woman" in this way.

One of Lisa Bloom's clients, David Casavant, a fashion stylist and activist, also recently alleged to The New York Times that the designer had pulled down his pants and underwear at a club in New York in the same year (2017). He said, “I was so apparently in a vulnerable state,” and that he thought Wang’s intention was to “humiliate” him, as he had tried to undress the stylist publicly before as well. However, Wang responded via his lawyer, denying Casavant's allegations saying that the stylist has “irrefutable yearslong personal animus.” To which Casavant's lawyer, Lisa Bloom responded, “Casavant stands by his account. Mr. Wang’s ridiculous personal attacks on him say more about Mr. Wang than they do about him.”


Casavant told the Times that he only came forward with his statement after Wang released a statement denying the allegations. The stylist said, “I didn’t like the idea that people could be branded as liars who weren’t. I didn’t feel a necessary response from the fashion industry about it. Which I can understand—I get it, they were mainly anonymous, so that’s fine. But here I am. I’m sitting in front of you. I’m saying who I am. I’m not anonymous anymore.”

Several others have come forward, albeit anonymously, with their own incidents of sexual misconduct at the hands of the Chinese American designer, several of which were posted on the Instagram pages of two fashion industry watchdogs, Diet Prada and Sh*t Model Management. The posts shared were about anonymous victims who were alleging that Wang has assaulted “many male models and trans models”, adding, “It is important to show your support to these victims by unfollowing Alexander Wang and boycotting his clothing line.” Another alleged victim, a trans man, said he was drugged and assaulted in a limousine by the designer who gave him water laced with MDMA.

In a statement earlier this year, Wang described the allegations as "lies." "Seeing these lies about me being perpetuated as truths has been infuriating. I have never engaged in the atrocious behaviour described and would never conduct myself in the manner that's been alleged."

Wang, presented his first fashion show at 23 and has long been a darling of New York Fashion Week. He is considered one of the pioneers of the integration of sportswear into high-end ready-to-wear clothes.

Several fashion personalities, mainly photographers, have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault since the #MeToo movement in 2017.

Terry Richardson, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino have all lost commissions due to sexual misconduct allegations. They have all denied the accusations against them. In June 2018, Paul Marciano resigned as CEO of Guess following allegations of sexual assault.

(With inputs from AFP)

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