Man About Town, an independent but increasingly influential fashion magazine that publishes twice a year, shows almost as much skin as clothing.
In one shot from the current issue, Cesar Vicente sits shirtless at the top of a table, providing bedroom eyes. In another, a handsome dancer in the shower disrobes until he is completely naked, his hand barely covering the genitals.
The photographs, which appear together with advertisements from Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, go over 60 pages and were shot by Bruce Weber, the fashion photographer accused in 201
Mr. Weber had been shooting for publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, W and Glamor for decades; Condé Nast, the parent company of these magazines, said they would stop hiring him. He was dropped by Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch and Versace. Everyone had hired him for ad campaigns. Mr. Weber has consistently denied any accusations through spokesmen.
In other industries, powerful men trying to get away from allegations of sexual misconduct have followed a basic playbook: Recognizing wrongdoing, disappearing from sight and making a substantial appeal for forgiveness by one's prosecutors. Don't post anything on Instagram that signals feelings other than remorse.
But this business operates according to different rules.
Mr. Weber is still invited to film awards and dinners organized by actors in big names. He has recently had work appear in other new fashion magazines. He posts old photos on Instagram, gathering from Nicolas Ghesquière (the artistic director of Louis Vuitton), Carine Roitfeld (the former editor of French Vogue), and Marie-Amelie Sauvé (a reputable stylist).
He remains the defendant in a pending lawsuit filed in 2017 by Jason Boyce, a former model who said that Mr. Weber groped and kissed him during a test shoot, the industry's equivalent of an audition. He is party to another, brought by five named models who filed a federal complaint against him in 2018.
Jonathan Bernstein, an employee of Mr. Weber, said in a statement this week that Mr. Weber “looks forward to have his day in court. "
Mr. Weber, he said, thanks "his studio, his family, friends and people who love his work for their support."
These supporters say they are frustrated that a gentle way of doing that spends huge amounts of time and money on charity is benched. They point out that the fashion world is filled with characters who treat subordinates poorly, even though the abuse inflicted is non-sexual.
They point out that the attorney for the plaintiffs in both lawsuits against Mr. Weber is Lisa Bloom, whose reputation has been partially shaped by her representation of tabloid characters such as model Blac Chyna and shameless movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
And they want to compare him to powerful men who are experiencing rebounds – but most of them have first acknowledged and apologized for doing something. So Mr. Weber exists in a state of demi-cancellation. He is no longer fighting yore, but many modeling tools are still willing, even eager, to work with him.
Stephanie Grill heads the men's division of Click Models in New York. She said she "doesn't know" if any of her clients were among those accused of abusing Weber last year. But she said she did not hesitate to send models to castings with Mr. Weber earlier this year when his office called to say he was planning a shoot.
"The guys are aware of the allegations," she said. "They love working with him."
She pointed to Jacob Lewandowski, a 26-year-old model who eventually got the cast in one of the Man About Town releases and had just told her how beautiful the pictures were. "He had a great experience," she said. "I'd like you to talk to him."
Mr. Lewandowski had positive things to say about Mr. Weber and the pictures that were taken of him.
He said that none of Mr. Weber's famous "breathing exercises" took place during his casting.
But Mr. Lewandowski also said he did not know who Mr. Weber was when he went to his first meeting. "She said & # 39; You have a go-see at & # 39; I think it was 10 o'clock. Can you handle it? & # 39; I said, & # 39; Yes. & # 39; "
Apparently, Mrs. Grill had not told him there were many sexual abuse charges against Mr. Weber .
"It's possible," Grill said in a follow-up conversation. "But before he worked with him, he knew it and made it very clear that he was doing well."
Huw Gwyther, editorial and creative manager for Man About Town, wrote in an email that he has gone back and forth to publish Mr. Weber's current shot. But earlier in his career, Mr. Gwyther had worked for Mario Testino, another top-level photographer whose career was backed by sexual misconduct charges.
"And my personal experience of working with him (for three and a half years) was nothing but absolutely positive," he said. It "probably had an impact" on why he chose to run Mr. Weber's work, Gwyther said.
"I don't honestly know if I made the" right "decision," he said. "But it is a fact that I have published his works.
" I am a publisher, "he continued." I am obviously not a judge, nor served in a jury. I believe in everyone's right to due process. "
Another reason Mr. Gwyther offered why he chose to publish was that the shoot was not commissioned by the magazine. Mr. Weber, he said, "was not paid for his work."
Instead, he completed the shoots on his own and then sent them out for publication – for free.
The sight of Mr. Weber's name in his magazine has revived arguments about the fashion industry overall response to the #MeToo movement.
"Nothing has changed," said Sara Ziff, a model who worked with Mr. Weber on one of her Abercrombie shots (an environment she described as unprofessional). now serves as CEO of Model Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to combat industry abuse.
Part of the reason, Ziff said, is that models in the United States are generally considered independent contractors and do not have the type of trade union representatives actors have.
But it is also true that fashion is perhaps the only business where women in front of the camera make more money than men. Disposable content leads to abuse. It is also expected that men, by virtue of their physical size, can care for themselves during unwanted advances, despite imbalances in power.
Agents often work on the principle that models should be "comfortable" enough with themselves to set their own parameters with photographers, regardless of the consequences.
Christian Alexander, an agent at Front Management in Miami, represents two models in Mr. Weber's Man About Town function. In an interview, he complained that the press "always focuses on the negative" and said he had never had a client accusing Mr. Weber of mistreatment.
Mr. Alexander then changed the last part. He had previously worked with Mark Ricketson. In 2017, Mr. Ricketson cried during a news conference when he allegedly sexually abused Mr. Weber during a test shooting. Mr. Weber has denied the allegations.
Mr. Ricketson said he had not told his agents about the experience at that time because he "like other young men" knew that "if we protested or refused we would be blacklisted, not just from the photo shoot, but probably from our agency." [19659002"MrAlexandersaidheconsideredMrRicketsonanopportunistandafraud"WhenIsawthatvideowiththecrocodiletearsIwasshocked"hesaid"Itblewmymind"
Mr. Alexander was also not particularly concerned that four models told The Advocate in 2018 that they had been sexually assaulted by Rick Day, a New York photographer who is often chosen by agencies to make tear plates with models.
As Mr Alexander saw it, Mr. Day simply has a colorless, truck driver-ish way of talking. He's "old school," he said. "Anyone can take everything out of context and reformulate it."
So his agency continues to work with Mr. Day and Mr. Weber.  "Why is this even more relevant news?" Alexander asked. "This happened two years ago."
"It is frustrating," Ziff said, "but unfortunately not surprising to hear the lack of sympathy for this young population who is uniquely subject to sexual abuse in an industry without any legal standards or real accountability. I'm glad you got it in the mail because that's what is often said behind closed doors. "
Mr. Weber is not the only fashion photographer accused of harassment or exploitation who seems to be on the road to reviving his career. two weeks ago Kim Kardashian posted a lush, black-and-white photograph of herself and one of her daughters on Instagram, crediting Mr. Testino with the recent photo.
Diet Prada, an Instagram account that works as a kind of watchdog in the industry, posted a screengrab next to comments, Kardashian has previously provided confessional support to victims of sexual harassment.