When blogger and Future Tech Lab founder Miroslava Duma posted a photo of a fashion show invitation from her friend and designer Ulyana Sergeenko to her Instagram on Tuesday, the industry was rightly angry. Sergeenko called Duma the N word, using lyrics from the Kanye-Jay-Z anthem "N****s in Paris." The receipts were in full view and the consensus was clear: unacceptable. After Sergeenko released a shoddy apology-free statement, and then deleted it, more controversy was unearthed from Duma's past. This time, blogger Bryanboy and model Andreja Pejic were dragged into it.
In the video, which has been reposted by several industry figures, Duma calls BryanBoy "weird" and misgenders Pejic not once, but twice. She continues to explain that both need to be censored and would not be featured on her fashion and lifestyle site, Buro 247. Following backlash from the industry, including Bryanboy, in which he claimed to be shocked by the video and reminded his followers that racism and bigotry is not cool, Duma released statements via her Instagram to address both controversies. At the time of publishing, she has 1.6 million followers and disabled comments on both posts.
After processing the news, Pejic posted a photo and response of her own. And, out of all four, it's the best yet. "I’ve never been the girl to do every campaign or walk every show, but I’m happy that I’ve had some pretty unique moments in this industry — a few of which have challenged the dominant paradigm, outdated views of gender, and a few that have even spilled over into pop culture," she wrote. After acknowledging that she'd seen the video and heard the hurtful comments about herself and Bryanboy, she continued: "I won't say it wasn’t hurtful. However instead of focusing on this blatant ignorance, I couldn’t help but realise the contrast between the state of our business today in comparison to 2012, the yr [sic] of this video."
Pejic went on to recap the love and acceptance she's received from the industry, no matter her gender, which have led to many fashion firsts for transgender models, influencers, activists, and more. And, in her view, she's thankful she got to stick around. Like Pejic, we hope Duma has learned from her mistakes and expanded her views — especially in an industry that acts as a safe space to those who've been outcast from society because they're told being different isn't cool. As Pejic states, it's important to keep pushing forward.