Fashion photographer asks: why did I lose

An online petition by students at University of Southern California – where Sophie Hulme took photos for a 2010 H&M campaign and taught a few semesters – has more than 40,000 signatures

An outspoken Canadian-born fashion photographer under fire in China after an online petition calling for her to be fired from Dior has apologized, the university said.

Sophie Hulme, who was most recently at New York’s Saint Martins fashion school and was named a “female discovery of the year” by the British Fashion Council in 2014, had taken photos for Dior’s 2014 and 2015 haute couture and couture debut collections.

She was dismissed from the fashion house in December for “unruly behaviour”, which included “catcalling women and telling women to shut up”, the petition read. It was initially reported she was no longer employed by Dior.

Student petition seeks Sophie Hulme’s expulsion from fashion institute Read more

On Wednesday, during her visit to Los Angeles, Hulme appeared in a live chat on the Soho House website, released a statement in which she said: “Although the news was published as saying my dismissal was an investigation by Dior and not by the fashion institute, I do understand why people assume I’m just another famous pariah in the fashion industry.

“I know the fashion industry. And it’s a notoriously demanding and competitive place to be, I’m not stupid and I knew that this story would end up in the press. I didn’t need to fudge details to do that. I was in the public eye for work that I did in China when I got fired from Dior. People judge me for the way I express myself and that’s OK. There are enough people out there who hate me for not reading the news. I didn’t get fired, and I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

On Thursday, she also tweeted an apology for lying to the media.

Sophie Hulme (@sophiehulme) I apologize for the lie I told to the media about my dismissal from Dior. That wasn’t me, that’s not me. —

Sophie Hulme (@sophiehulme) I want to be clear. I wasn’t dismissed. I was let go. I am deeply sorry for lying. —

Sophie Hulme (@sophiehulme) I let down my students and colleagues. I’ll be better and will return to fashion in a bigger way.

Hulme worked at Yves Saint Laurent in New York, and for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Michael Cinco.

Her online petition also slammed Hulme’s role at the fashion institute, where she taught courses in 2009 and 2012, and for ignoring online sexual harassment.

Sophie Hulme (@sophiehulme) Flack for teaching the same course as @davincamos at USC allowed them to ignore the huge differences in harassment that my students & I experience. —

Sophie Hulme (@sophiehulme) From the looks of it, people seemed to think I didn’t care about them or heard what they had to say. Not true. —

Sophie Hulme (@sophiehulme) To all the USC students and alumni, I truly apologize for that. I was in school at the time.

Hulme first drew attention in February after she failed to cancel an interview with Canadian newspaper the Toronto Star. Then-leader of the Ontario provincial government, Kathleen Wynne, said in a tweet in response to the paper’s queries about Hulme that she was “absolutely appalled”.

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The Dior statement, from Hilary Wainwright, the luxury fashion house’s senior communications officer, referred to what happened in December.

Hulme was “part of the Dior team, so we were saddened to hear the news,” she said, adding that “she cooperated fully with the investigation” and “e has stood by the findings of the investigation which concluded that her actions were unacceptable, and after several explanations, not in line with the values and policies of Dior”.

Wainwright added that Hulme is “not afraid to say what she thinks” and “intends to make a return

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