NYFW model was not paid for her work



February 18, 2023 | 7:33 a.m

This runway model takes a stance in her stiletto heels.

Taylor Stewart risked her modeling career to expose the abuse she and other industry professionals endured during New York Fashion Week – where she was not paid a dime for seven shows.

“Neither of us got paid — as if I’m talking models, hair and makeup, stylists, events staff,” the 25-year-old beauty told the Post.

“I have no other word than ‘disgusting’. And I just couldn’t stand to see so many amazing, hard-working people being taken advantage of, including myself.”

On the third day of Fashion Week, which ran from February 9-15, the Canadian native posted a four-part series of TikTok videos titled “New York Fashion Week is a scam.” She outlined deplorable industry standards where midsize companies attract talent with the promise of “exposure”.

The blonde beauty decided to share her story on TikTok, where many others shared similar experiences. Tik Tok Taylor Stewart

“They really have a way of convincing you, like, ‘Oh, you should do this for us because it’ll boost your career … like it’ll get you connections,'” she said. “And it’s just not true.”

Her posts generated 75,000 views in just 24 hours – and inspired others to share similar experiences.

“One girl…told me that when they post hairstyle photos, they don’t even mention her name. So she said, ‘I literally got none of it, spent so much money going there,'” she explained.

The 25-year-old Stewart, who attended seven shows last fall, decided to step away from fashion week this year. Image courtesy of Taylor Stewart

Stewart, who now lives in Miami, estimates that last September she spent $4,000 traveling to New York to attend Fashion Week, paying for the flight and hotels out of her own pocket.

“Another thing I was also shocked about was that we had to buy shoes,” she recalled. “They wanted certain shoes to be worn. You had to buy them with your own money.”

Last fall, she walked seven runways for SOCIETY Fashion Week, a global fashion show producer based in Midtown West.

“I’m a size 4 to 6 and I’ve always been called the taller model,” she said. “One of the casting people said, ‘You look just too healthy… it looks cheap… because you don’t look that shabby.'”

Aside from not earning a salary, Stewart was also physically shamed for being a size 4-6. WestonMosburg

The conditions backstage at the Hall of Mirrors in Midtown West where she went were not only filthy but dangerous.

“When I got into the dressing rooms, it was like dirt on huge stairs,” she recalled. “One girl actually fell down the stairs and broke her toe and they let her walk anyway.”

The 5-foot-10 blonde beauty worked eight to 10 hour days at work, spending most of her time waiting for her name to be called.

“They told me to show up at nine in the morning and I would sit around until three in the afternoon,” she explained.

When asked by The Post about the alleged non-payment, a SOCIETY Fashion Week representative said, “Our goal is to be on the front lines to ensure everyone is compensated for their time and to keep pushing the entire industry forward.”

Many TikTok users also called Midtown-based independent fashion production company hiTechMODA for non-payment. It did not respond to a request for comment.

The Canadian native who lives in Miami has just been cast in a short film, Cindy Sung

“I can confirm that too because I went to their casting and they told everyone there would be no payment, it would be all exposure and photos,” she said.

At this month’s Fashion Week, she was cast in a show for Times Square-based Runway 7 Fashion, which also didn’t respond to The Post. However, she “ultimately decided not to participate” after witnessing the same abuse during rehearsal.

“I retired … I had made up my mind to be done with everything,” she said.

Stewart, who has just been cast in a short film, said she is older than most exploited models.

“I’ve met a lot of 17-year-olds, 18-year-olds … because that’s what they’re looking for, right?” she said. “People who don’t really understand yet what they deserve and… very easy to manipulate.”

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