Shereen Wu, a 21-year-old model, accused designer Michael Costello of digitally altering a photo of her from his recent fashion show. In a TikTok video, she claimed that Costello had photoshopped her image by replacing her face with that of a white model.
Shereen Wu, a Los Angeles-based model, has levelled allegations against American designer and former Runway participant Michael Costello, claiming that he digitally altered her runway photograph of his recent fashion show. In a TikTok video, Wu claimed that Costello had photoshopped her image by replacing her face with that of a white model. However, when she confronted Costello about the alteration, he shifted the blame onto the photographer, claiming that the photo arrived in that edited state.
Wu, 21, is an independent model who is not signed to an agency and she relies on small jobs for her living. The model revealed that she did not get paid for the show, which took place during Art Hearts, a Los Angeles Fashion Week. In the video, while showcasing a photo of herself while walking the runway at Costello’s recent show, Wu stated, I recently walked for Michael Costello…”
Then, she displayed the image that the designer had shared on his Instagram story, which depicted her body with an altered face. “But that’s not me in the story he posted. Michael, a prominent designer with 1.7 million followers, editing my face and erasing my identity is completely disrespectful,” she claimed.
Wu began sharing the screenshots of her AI-generated images and wrote, “I have never been so insulted in my life… that’s my body, my neck, but not my face.” She revealed that she is okay with people editing her face, but changing her race feels so disrespectful. “I understand the lighting and makeup may not be to the designer’s or photographer’s taste, but completely changing my face with AI is completely ridiculous.”
MODEL ALLEGES DESIGNER OF ‘EDITING HER FACE AND RACE’ IN PHOTO
The 21-year-old stated that Costello put the blame on the photographer, asserting that the manipulated photo was given to him in that form. But when Wu approached the photographer, he made it clear that he had not altered the photo. “Michael has told me it’s fan art. He has told three different people with three different stories. They removed my image without an apology, then posted an AI art, and then shared profiles of AI models as if to imply that everyone was doing this. So I shouldn’t be angry or I am replaceable” Wu said in the video.
Wu perceived that she shouldn’t be upset because AI is widely used in the fashion industry. In response, she lamented, “In the end, I’m just another dissatisfied model. I want to explain what happened, and I hope other models in the future feel comfortable to speak up. He has since offered to post my photo side by side with the AI one but has not voluntarily post it. This offer did not contain an apology and only happened after a model who was close with him brought light to the situation.”