RendezView “Inundated” With Similar Experiences From Readers After Lorna Jane Article

RendezView “Inundated” With Similar Experiences From Readers After Lorna Jane Article

News Corp’s RendezView has said it’s been “inundated” with claims from readers who had a similar experience working at Lorna Jane as Vanessa Croll, who yesterday said she was “used” by the fitness brand.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

“Since the publication of Vanessa’s opinion piece yesterday, RendezView has been inundated with people getting in contact to share their own experiences of working for the company,” Sarrah Le Marquand, editor of RendezView told B&T, adding the publication has decided to keep them private.

She further added Lorna Jane saying it used Croll as a model to ‘help her out’ and ‘give her a break’ will “raise eyebrows among those professionally employed in the clothing and modelling industries”.

“To suggest that the decision to allocate such sustained marketing exposure to a young woman, who by her own admission had no modelling experience, solely ‘to give her a break’ is certainly a claim that will raise eyebrows among those professionally employed in the clothing and modelling industries,” said Le Marquand, who’s full response is at the bottom of this article.

Croll, a journalist and former employee of Lorna Jane, yesterday claimed the activewear brand had used her when she modelled for the brand without prior modelling experience, and was paid minimally. Croll’s opinion piece was penned after a 60 Minutes interview where founder Lorna Jane Clarkson said she felt vulnerable and teared up.

When the Courier Mail published the piece from Croll, entitled ‘Lorna Jane, you used me’, on its Facebook page, Lorna Jane responded in the comments section of Facebook saying it hadn’t been approached for comment, and used the space to tell its side of the story. The post has since received numerous comments saying it was a bad PR job to comment on a post, and a “nasty” response.

When contacted by B&T earlier this morning, Lorna Jane issued the same response it had on its Facebook, which is below.

“Given Lorna Jane wasn’t approached for comment or our opinion on this article, we felt it appropriate to set the record straight here.

“Vanessa was a personal trainer at a gym owned by Lorna Jane more than ten years ago and at that time aspired to be a model.  Despite having no experience as a model, Lorna agreed to feature her in some catalogues to give her a break and try to help her in her dream of becoming a model.

“Despite featuring Vanessa purely to help her out, she was still paid for her work and was extremely excited and grateful for both the opportunity and money paid to her. Lorna Jane was just a small business at the time, however being a model for the brand was still extremely beneficial to a model’s portfolio. 

“It’s very upsetting that ten years later Vanessa has chosen to write this article, which we see as nothing more than an attack by an opportunist trying to benefit from Lorna’s success.  Lorna Jane has never been contacted by Vanessa, nor were any concerns raised by her during her time working with Lorna and Bill.

“We wish Vanessa every success as a journalist and truly hope she realises that women need to support each other rather than tearing each other down.”

However, this afternoon, RendezView’s Le Marquand told B&T the publication found it interesting the fitness brand had responded in such a way. Le Marquand’s full response is below.

“We note with interest that Lorna Jane has publicly confirmed the facts that Vanessa Croll revealed in her opinion piece regarding her experience with the company, which is that after being hired as a personal trainer she was used as a catalogue model.

“As for Lorna Jane’s response that they opted to utilise Vanessa as a model ‘purely to help her out’, we will leave readers to draw their own conclusions as to whether that is the reason a company would choose to feature an iconic floor-to-ceiling photograph of Vanessa in their stores throughout Australia and New Zealand for several years, and also feature her as the sole model in numerous widely distributed catalogues.

“To suggest that the decision to allocate such sustained marketing exposure to a young woman, who by her own admission had no modelling experience, solely ‘to give her a break’ is certainly a claim that will raise eyebrows among those professionally employed in the clothing and modelling industries.

“Since the publication of Vanessa’s opinion piece yesterday, RendezView has been inundated with people getting in contact to share their own experiences of working for the company. We have opted to keep this communication private and believe Vanessa covered everything that needs to be said at this time in her piece. But Lorna Jane is very welcome to submit a response to Vanessa’s piece for publication at RendezView.”