The past two days saw models, photographers and ex-employees call out Elan and Zaha – two renowned fashion labels helmed by designer Khadija Shah – for their ‘non-payments’ on social media, following which their dues were released with a few still pending.
Although it’s sad to see that such a popular fashion house had to be publicly shamed to finally deliver scanty amounts to artists it had roped in months or even years ago, it’s a relief to see workers and artists speak up about being exploited so their fellow artists can steer clear of working with anyone without a contract.
Lamenting how she feels embarrassed about defaming the brand in question, Abeera clarified that she is only doing so after being left with no choice. “Why should calling out a brand like this impact your image?” she asked on her Insta Stories. “If you think I’m wrong or arrogant for asking for my payments then don’t work with me. We ourselves feel embarrassed, naming and shaming brands like this but some of them are so shameless, that they leave us with no choice. Hint, it’s just one brand that has two brands in it.”
On Wednesday, Atikah, who hadn’t been paid by Zaha in a year, shared a photo of herself from the campaign she modeled for. “Mere paise kidher hain (Where is my money), Zaha?” she asked in the caption.
Another model, Mydah Raza, revealed that Elan and Zaha hadn’t paid her in three years. “Elan, Zaha haven’t paid me in three years. I know a lot of people who are in the same boat. I hope you guys speak up as well. We’ve been patient for a little bit too long,” she wrote on her Insta Stories.
In a follow-up post, she added, “If you don’t want to offer monetary payments to your models, cool. You can be upfront, let them know that this will be a collab. But to book them and then make them wait for months/years for what you rightfully owe them, and then ignore their messages is disgusting!”
The good news
Both Atikah and Mydah later revealed their payments had been released. While Atikah updated her post, removing her earlier remark, Mydah left her complaint on the highlights of her Insta for people to view. She even shared a post titled, “Elan, Zaha don’t pay their models, videographers and employees,” irrespective of being paid.
Mere paise milgaye (I received my money)!” celebrated Atikah. “Thank you everyone for the support, and thank you Zaha for finally giving me what was rightfully mine. For everyone else who’s still waiting for their payment, hang in there. Still with you. Now, as promised I will be donating all of this money to charity so that something good can come from this uncomfortable experience. It was never about the money; it was about respect. Hoping I never have to confront someone again,” she concluded.