Here’s a weird one. Refinery29 is reporting that several prominent Russian fashion influencers were recently targeted by a carefully coordinated, anonymously authored fake news campaign.
A quick rundown of events: earlier this year, a number of western fashion reporters and influencers received unsolicited emails from a group calling themselves the “Kiev Fashion Resistance,” claiming to have salacious information on three influential Russian fashion figures.
“The reports similarly claimed that these Russian women’s Western-facing entrepreneurial activities relied on illegal activities… and insisted that this information should be ‘newsworthy’ to their intended audiences.” Those illegal activities were said to include money laundering, weapons trading, and other threats to “world security.”
As for why these women are being targeted, and what those targeting them hope to gain, no one’s really sure.
One theory is that the smear campaign could be the work of a group with “an interest in stirring up anti-Russian sentiment in the West,” potentially of Western Ukrainian origin, where the anti-Russian politics are strong enough to “make that a plausible goal.”
Another is that it’s an inside job, orchestrated by the Russian government in an attempt “to stoke anti-Western sentiments within Russia itself, by tricking American and European outlets to publish false information.” If that’s case, then it’s a whole different ballgame.
Either way, information has been weaponized in the fashion world, so now we have that to deal with.
You can read more about it at Refinery29.