Since being a standout on the eighth season of Project Runway and moving on to dress none other than Beyoncé and other celebrities like her, Michael Costello’s name has been on the mouths of fashion folk far and wide. However, as of late, it hasn’t been for good reason.
If you can recall, it was he who put Yoncé in that sheer floral gown at the Grammys. But now, he’s facing the wrath of the Beyhive after allegedly using a racial slur in an Instagram comment a couple of weeks ago.
It all started when a young woman named Maxine James claimed Michael Costello bought a dress from her boutique on Instagram, and then posted it on his page as if it was his own design:
“It’s so disheartening I couldn’t help but shed a tear… Him as a designer should know first hand how heart breaking it is for ppl to take something you worked so hard on …..It’s like why? Who does that? I mean we ALL get inspired from some where but it is completely unfair to take someone’s EXACT design and EXACT dress at that and claim it as your own…. @michaelcostello You are already a well-known designer you design dresses for TOP celebrities… Why would you do something so low?” she captioned the photo.
Once he got wind of this, Costello allegedly responded to her post with the following:
“Your just probably a dumb nigger defending her. I am royalty bitch! I dressed Beyonce! Who are they gonna believe!”
Shortly thereafter, the Beyhive took to Twitter and Facebook, asking that Beyoncé and her stylist Ty Hunter stop supporting the designer, which prompted Stephanie Costello, Michael’s co-designer, to speak out on her account, @mtcostello:
There has been a recent accusation that MT Costello posted a picture on our Instagram account of a dress that was purchased from another designer. The image was later reposted by the same designer and included a caption stating we had bought the dress and were attempting to rebrand it as our own. As the co-designer of MT Costello, I feel it is important to address this matter and provide an explanation to all affected by the issue. I, Stephanie Costello, purchased the garment in question due to the apparent similarities between it and a gown that Michael Costello and I designed that was posted on social media over a year ago. Regretfully, my emotions became involved when the dress arrived and, driven by frustration, preceded to photograph the dress on a model in our showroom as a sarcastic and inappropriate attempt to expose the designer’s garment as a forged duplication of our own. I did not, nor ever intended to sell the item as a MT Costello product. As a business we take duplicated work very seriously as it affects our ability to support employees, interns and families. Michael and I work diligently on our gowns adding signature cuts and silhouettes unique to the MT Costello brand. As designers we grow attached to our creations and I reacted emotionally before considering the effect it would have on the public and the brand. I realize that my attempt to expose the designer and the garment was extremely unprofessional and for that I apologize. I ask for your understanding and forgiveness for my emotionally driven reaction. I have learned a valuable lesson from this experience and fully intend to address similar situations in the future more professionally. Sincerely, Stephanie Costello
And about that racist comment? According to a statement made by Michael on his Tumblr on October 11, it was Photoshopped, possibly by a disgruntled intern who is currently being investigated:
The hurtful screenshot circulating is fake and does not represent my views on society, nor do I condone the use of such a terrible term. It deeply saddens me that an individual would go to such lengths at an attempt to demean and misrepresent my character. My designs are centered on accentuating the inherent and natural beauty found in EVERY woman. My career would not be where it is today without the support of individuals from all walks of life.
This social media saga occurred two weeks ago and went mostly without notice, that is until Chrissy Teigen chimed in. Yesterday, she left a since-deleted comment on his page, saying:
So you say all that racist shit and get that horrible press with people using the hashtag #michaelcostello to call you out on it, then you create a contest where you beg people to use the same tag but in a positive light. Covered up all the negative press. Genius and shady all at once. Start a PR firm. Xx”
Costello and his team have yet to respond.
SOURCE: Madam Noire | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Instagram, Twitter
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