This week, Owen Mooney, a male model and graphic designer, said that he was groped by Alexander Wang, an influential fashion designer, in a New York City nightclub in 2017.
Mooney made the accusations in a pair of videos he posted on social media.
Soon after, further allegations of sexual assault and nonconsensual encounters were made against the 37-year-old designer, posted by Instagram accounts that did not identify the accusers.
After days of silence, Wang responded to the claims — and the barrage of criticism he has faced online.
“Over the last few days, I have been on the receiving end of baseless and grotesquely false accusations,” the designer wrote in a statement sent to The New York Times. “These claims have been wrongfully amplified by social media accounts infamous for posting defamatory material from undisclosed and/or anonymous sources with zero evidence or any fact-checking whatsoever.”
The allegations were compiled and reposted on Instagram by two accounts with large followings that have established themselves as fashion industry watchdogs: Diet Prada, run by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, and another account dedicated to exposing the inner workings of the modeling industry. The New York Times has not independently corroborated the allegations. Mooney did not respond to requests via email and direct message for comment.
In 2019, Azealia Banks — a rapper and songwriter who is a former muse and collaborator of Wang’s — shared a series of anonymous accounts on her Instagram stories of allegations of groping by the designer. In 2017, a person named Nick Ward posted a Twitter thread that claimed Wang grabbed his genitals at a Brooklyn concert.
In his statement, Wang said that “seeing these lies about me being perpetuated as truths has been infuriating.”
“I never engaged in the atrocious behaviour described and would never conduct myself in the manner that’s been alleged,” he continued. “I intend to get to the bottom of this and hold accountable whoever is responsible for originating these claims and viciously spreading them online.”
On Monday, Wang’s Instagram account turned off the ability to comment on his latest post. The official Instagram account for his brand did the same on all of its posts this week.