‘No food or toilet & forced to change tampons in public:’ Models rage at Georgian Fashion Week claiming horror working conditions

Models working at Fashion Week Tbilisi have taken to social media to express anger over their treatment by the organizers, saying they were accommodated in a building with no toilet, and were left without food or transportation.

The event, sponsored by German automobile giant Mercedes Benz, is scheduled to take place between May 6 and May 9, but the models are already in the Georgian capital for photoshoots and training for their appearances on the runway. The organizers have promised a spectacular show, featuring the newest collections from Georgia’s top fashion designers.

However, the girls insist that things aren’t that glamorous backstage, with several of them taking to social media with complaints about living conditions at what is supposed to be the main event in the country’s fashion calendar.

“I’m tired of being treated like a piece of s**t,” one of Fashion Week Tbilisi’s models, Tako Natsvlishvili, wrote on her Instagram page on Sunday.

“Long story short, we had no place to sit comfortably, no toilet in the same building… no transportation, NO FOOD,” she claimed.

Revealing some more intimate details, Natsvlishvili said that the lack of a bathroom had forced some of her female colleagues to “change tampons on the staircase.”

Being left without transport also became a major headache for the models due to Covid-19 restrictions. A curfew begins in Tbilisi at 9pm, meaning that public transport and taxis stop working, but the girls are still being asked to work late, she said.

“I won’t even start about our salaries, which are ridiculous compared to what we have to go through,” Natsvlishvili continued.

According to the model, the organizers are refusing to take any responsibility for the problems, and are instead trying hard to keep news of them from emerging.

One of the girls, who was also critical of how the event is being managed, got her Instagram page reported and blocked, Natsvlishvili claimed.

The organizers have yet to respond to the accusations voiced by the models they’ve hired.

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Fashion Week Tbilisi was first staged in 2009 and has never faced allegations of mistreating models. This year’s show is being held online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen more than a million infections reported in Georgia, along with almost 20,000 deaths. Foreign buyers will not be traveling to Tbilisi this year, but will be offered a live broadcast of fashion displays from the Georgian capital.

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