Ralph Lauren Fires Model for Being “Overweight”

October 15, 2009 • Fashion

RL SKINNY Last week I wrote about the scandal surrounding Ralph Lauren and the horrific photoshop job done on the ad featuring model Fillippa Hamilton. The ad was first discovered by the blog Photoshop Disasters and picked up by the website Boing Boing. After various infringement threats, Ralph Lauren released an apology, taking full responsibility for the ad. Had that been the end of the story, the ad would likely have been forgotten and Ralph Lauren, as a brand, would merely have a small stain on their reputation.

Sadly, Ralph Lauren fired Fillippa Hamilton after an 8 year collaboration in back in April. According to the 23-year-old model, who made an appearance on the Today Show on Wednesday, "They fired me because I was overweight and I could not fit into their clothes anymore."

In video clips from the Today Show, the 5'8", 120 lb model looks slender and healthy, a far cry from overweight and says that she had considered the people she worked with at Ralph Lauren like a second family.

Ralph Lauren claims that they fired her "as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us" and called her "beautiful and healthy."

Fillippa Hamilton Hamilton, however, claims that she did everything in her contract and that Ralph Lauren told her modeling agency, Next, that she was simply too large for the clothes. 

Regarding Hamilton's role in the botched photoshop ad, Ralph Lauren had this to say: "The image in question was mistakenly released and used in a department store in Japan and was not the approved image which ran in the U.S. This error has absolutely no connection to our relationship with Fillippa Hamilton."

Hamilton, who was featured in Ralph Lauren Romance fragrance ads, believes that "[Ralph Lauren] owes the American woman an apology, a big apology. I'm very proud of what I look like, and I think a role model should look healthy."

For the previous photoshop disaster and the firing of a perfectly lovely model — a size 2 is skinny, people– Ralph Lauren would owe women everywhere an apology and a dialogue on body image issues. All of which I was perfectly happy to accept as penance.  That is, until I found this photograph on Photoshop Disasters, from in Sydney, Australia, posted on October 14:


I think that the image speaks for itself. Let's hope that Ralph Lauren comes up with an appropriate way of apologizing to women everywhere. Maybe a campaign with real, healthy women would be a nice start. But please, no more excuses or arguing that these two photos were any sort of isolated incidents. RL, you've lost my respect.

If you would like to express your concerns or displeasure with RL, you may do so here.

-Nina Krek

Story source: Jezebel and NY Daily News

Photo Source: NY Daily News, Photoshop Disasters

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3 Responses to Ralph Lauren Fires Model for Being “Overweight”

  1. jackie wilson says:

    I just e-mailed ralph lauren to share my disgust and to let them know I am boycotting. If you would like to do the same, here is the link I used: https://www.ralphlauren.com/helpdesk/index.jsp?display=store&subdisplay=contact

  2. Lauren - Second City Style says:

    Thanks for the link. What a PR nightmare. I can’t blame people for being upset. To insinuate a woman who is 5’8″ and 120 lbs. is overweight is just insulting. Disgusting actually.

  3. paula says:

    WOW! Those pictures are HORRIBLE! I dont even want to be like those women. It is insulting!

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