Filippa Hamilton Speaks out about retouched photos and being fired by Ralph Lauren

October 15, 2009

Does this girl look like a fatty to you? My guess is you’ll probably say she looks absolutely fabulous. Filippa Hamilton, the 23-year old model who’s been the face of Ralph Lauren ads since the age of 13 years old was fired by the label in April citing that it was “a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us,” in a statement issue by the company.

  1. The model, who appeared on the Today Show yesterday said “they fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn’t fit in their clothes anymore.” The firing has caused a scandal because a badly retouched photo of the 5-foot-8, 120-pound model, which portrayed her with an extremely sickly figure, appeared in a Ralph Lauren advert that was launched in Japan and got circulated online.

Hamilton says she was angered by the retouched photo and that the firing was not as upsetting. Ralph Lauren issued a statement saying,

“For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.”

Many in the fashion industry are condemning the retouched photos which portray a healthy model as sickly. This portrayal sets back the CDFA’s initiatives of encouraging models to lead healthier lives through nutrition and exercise. If a 5 foot 8 model who weighs 120 lbs can’t fit into the sample size that is made for her, what does it say about the fashion industry? I have been a big fan on Ralph Lauren but their actions in this situation is a bit alarming.

“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. We take full responsibility. This error has absolutely no connection to our relationship with Filippa Hamilton,” said the company.

Filippa does not plan on suing the company for the retouched photos, which appeared in advertising after her termination. Check out the video from the Today Show below.

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