#Culture: This Fashion Brand Called Out Mahhi Vij For Not Returning Clothes She Had Borrowed. Why Is This A Persistent Problem In Fashion Industry?
I always wondered if celebrities and models get to keep the designer clothes they pose for during a fancy photoshoot or the outfit they walk the red carpet in or any glam public appearance for that matter. It was not until I got to work for a fashion magazine that I knew the real truth about these hot off the runway clothes that we see celebrities sporting. I’ll let you in on a little secret. They borrow these clothes for these fashion events and return them to the designer when they are done. Yes, they do purchase the pieces they might like but mostly that’s not the case.
Borrowing or pulling clothes in from a brand for a shoot or event is not uncommon in the industry but I’ll tell you what is common, though, not returning the designer pieces intact or not returning them at all.
Recently, actress Mahhi Vij was called out by an e-commerce fashion label called Made For Her, for not returning their clothes she borrowed for her friend Shehnaaz Gill while she was a contestant in Bigg Boss 13. So apparently, Mahi reached out to this brand for Shehnaaz since she needed clothes and didn’t have a stylist. While she returned some of the pieces, she kept the rest and was even seen wearing them herself without having paid for them *SMH*. She owes them 25 grands, or the remaining clothes, whichever she’d like to give.
The brand took to their Instagram and released the WhatsApp chat between Mahi and them through a carousel post, and the first slide read, “The True face of @mahhivij.” They wrote in the caption, “At the time of Big Boss, she sourced outfits from us for @shehnaazgill and that was an outsourcing only. After big boss got over we asked her to send the outfits back, she sent few and kept rest of the outfits with her , when asked she said she will send them asap.”
Also Read: This Woman Called Out Fast Fashion Retailer Shein For Selling Prayer Mats As Fancy Rugs. That’s Very Tone-Deaf Of The Brand
The post further said, “We saw her wearing those outfits without even informing us. Isn’t this such a shame that being a famous face you want to wear new outfits but not willing to pay for them? You are asking outfits for someone else and keeping them and flaunting them shamelessly.” “She only owes 25k to us which she isn’t able to pay and making excuses and blocked us”.
Mahi commented on the post saying “Sorry I wasn’t flaunting I asked u since it was with me I hv way too many clothes to flaunt urs… I don’t need Madeforher clothes.anyways I was trying to resolve since I was a@mediater but u made it ugly.. nothing is wth me I even told u I’ll pay on behalf of wt Eva is lost.”. She also said she has replaced some clothes but is willing to pay the compensation for the same.
Well, this is highly unethical and we aren’t entirely sure what conspired between the brand and the actress but what we do know is that this isn’t the first time things like this are happening. This is in fact very common in the fashion industry. Let me elaborate. Stylists and celebrities pull in clothes from a designer or brand for a shoot or event. Sometimes, these clothes are mishandled, lost or stolen or they take forever to return them. There have been several such cases where these clothes on rent have ended with a stain, or have been mishandled and that stylist or the designer/brand in a bit of a soup. The outfit can’t be sold and cannot be tweaked.
Palak Sinha who’s working as a fashion consultant for a well-known women’s wear brand says, “A lot of times it happens that the fashion magazine or stylists don’t send an official mail or pull letter requesting to source clothes and send their people straight to the store to pick stuff. That creates chaos. Plus, when the clothes are returned, many of them have lipstick marks, makeup stains and perfume on them which makes it hard for us to sell these pieces. Other than this, the clothes with a zip and shoes are more often than not are handled roughly and look far from new when they are returned to the store.”
A fashion designer who has her own store in Delhi shares her experience saying they have to follow up several times with the client to get the clothes back. She says, “Some people are really nice and return clothes on time without any fuss but there have been cases where my team has literally begged to them to return the clothes. It is a very unorganised system and it can be tough sometimes to communicate and get our clothes back in time.”
A junior stylist working for a fashion magazine says, “I have seen my colleagues taking home designer clothes after the shoot if they fit the size. They blame the interns and assistants for negligence when they can’t find the items and keep it back the next day like nothing happened. These things happen every day.”
Another stylist says that the styling team is responsible for the pieces and thus they land in trouble for any item damaged, stolen or lost. “Even when it’s the models and celebrities who are not careful with the clothes, the styling team has to face the brunt from the designers and store managers if anything goes wrong with the clothes.” Fashion watch dog Diet Sabya even shared horror stories of PR agencies and stylists where they shared their experiences of how pulling fashion clothing for an event that ended up affecting their job.
The celebrities who lose, steal, and damage borrowed designer clothes http://t.co/d5KTHxNGXT
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) April 30, 2013
Not paying the brand and designers back or reimbursing them for lost items and mishandling their pieces is not unheard of. Small brands like Made For Her face this issue more often as compared to the established brands, yes, but that doesn’t mean that big brands and designers don’t face this problem.
I fail to understand why these things happen on a regular basis. Is it the lack of communication or a highly unorganised system or simply the negligence and unethical behaviour of the people involved? Whatever it may be, this will continue until people in fashion are more responsible towards the clothes and their duty to return the clothes as is, so that everyone can be happy in the end.