Ardita Fetish Fashion, the Dutch label renowned for its intricately patterned and textured latex creations, has been complaining on social media about a model/mistress who, it claims, owes the company for an expensive outfit she has neither paid for nor returned.
But although it appears a deposit was paid for its use in a photo-shoot, the client, a dominatrix based in Germany, allegedly “still hasn’t paid the full amount” after more than a year.
The latex label’s posts go on to say: “She uses the picture of herself with our outfit, made by one of our favourite photographers, to promote herself and her mistress work. And [she does] that without even crediting or tagging us, which would be the least to do as she still hasn’t paid.
“In the past year and months,” adds Ardita, “we have been more than patient with her. But all she could do was lie to us and avoiding our mails and phone calls, which she is still doing.”
It was this behaviour, says owner Barbara Sandri, that “forced us” to post about it on Facebook.
However, the domina’s response to this was to report the post to Facebook, which removed it — “without checking”, Barbara believes, since it was “not against Facebook policies”.
BELOW: Rachael Vee (not the subject of Ardita’s complaint) modelling the catsuit and corset the label says a client still hasn’t paid for after a year
He continued: “For once a designer/manufacturer/ supplier is having a pop at a bad customer” when “usually it’s the other way round”.
Moderators at Facebook and on Fetlife may have been wise not to allow an accusation of theft (or however you choose to characterise it) to stand, as such statements about a named individual (and the woman was originally named) are potentially libellous.
However, when you consider the vast number of potentially libellous and downright criminal accusations that appear across social media every day without any moderating action occurring, there is some surprise that Ardita’s complaints fell foul of censors so quickly.
Some contributors to FetLife were minded to observe that it seemed particularly unfair given that the Latex Lovers group, where it was posted, regularly gives space to the badmouthing of latex companies by disgruntled customers who don’t always appear to have legitimate reasons for whingeing.
Can it really be OK, such commentators have asked, for individuals to name and shame businesses in group discussions, but for businesses not to be able to name and shame customers?
Unfortunately bad customers do exist, both within and outside the industry. There are stories about some quite high profile people on the scene who, not to put too fine a point on it, do take the piss.
We know of much-admired models who have a reputation for taking designers for a ride, not only by not returning items that were on loan, but also by selling loaned items on eBay.
Most labels consider that complaining about bad clients is not good form, and are loath to name and shame such individuals, which may well be why this kind of behaviour continues to go on.
In Ardita’s case, it appears to have been a last resort after considerable attempts to resolve the matter.
And many industry folk who know Barbara and partner Massimo to be decent and honest people will surely think it a shame their original posts have been denied continuing visibility.
But there is another consequence. As a result of their experience, the couple say they’ve had to “sharpen their policies” on shipping outfits for shoots.
“We will not ship any item out any more unless fully paid upfront,” they now say. “We are very sorry for all you nice and kind models who act correctly. But unfortunately some rotten apples ruin it for everybody.”
Published July 8, 2016