Mario Testino creeps back into the spotlight with shot of Kim Kardashian

The photographer, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple people working in fashion last year, captured Kim K and daughter North for his ongoing Towel series

Cast your mind back a little over a year and you’ll likely recall the point at which the #MeToo movement spilled over into fashion. Beginning with the New York Times expose of revered photographers Bruce Weber and Mario Testino’s alleged sexual misconduct, it wasn’t long before a huge number of models, assistants, and other vulnerable individuals came forward with their own stories of the harassment and abuse they faced working in the fashion industry

Though they both denied the claims made against them, subsequently, Weber and Testino were denounced by a long list of brands and publications. Even Anna Wintour, who has long-standing personal and professional relationships with both of them, confirmed that Condé Nast would cease to continue working with them for the foreseeable future. Soon after, Testino shut down the New York office of his creative agency Mariotestino+.

The photographers’ haven't stayed completely out of the spotlight in the time since, though. Last month, Weber lensed a story in the newly relaunched Man About Town, while a new exhibition of Testino’s work opened at London’s Hamiltons Gallery earlier this week, and rising label Palomo Spain hinted it was working with the photographer via Instagram stories earlier this year.

The latest signalling that Testino’s alleged misdemeanours may be on their way to being forgiven and forgotten comes from Kim Kardashian West, who last night posted a black and white shot of her and daughter North to her IG. A single tag on the post revealed the person behind the camera was Testino, who first uploaded it to his own account in early October. 

Captioned “Best friends!” the image came about when Kim enlisted the photographer to take family photos of the Kardashian-West clan. Testino also photographed the entrepreneur, make-up mogul, and wannabe lawyer on her own as part of the latest addition to his ongoing Towel series, which has previously featured everyone from Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Kate Moss, to Naomi Campbell, Gisele, and Miley Cyrus captured draped exclusively in fluffy white towels.  

Kim K is in no way the only person showing her support for the disgraced photographer, however. From the moment the New York Times piece dropped in January 2018, Testino’s Instagram comment section has been full of messages from fellow creatives, fashion insiders, and legendary supermodels, with many declaring their love for him on the platform.

So, could Kim's approval see the fashion industry follow suit and start working with Testino again? It seems likely, given the industry’s short attention span and the fact it’s fickle af (those seasonal trends don’t just change themselves!). Watch this space, we guess – and perhaps take a moment to think about the countless survivors around the world, in fashion and far beyond, who bravely speak out, only to have their accused assailants never feel the repercussions of their actions.