After making headlines in November for defrauding a handful of celebrated fashion brands and publications and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of designer garments and accessories, Arnaud Henry Mensan is plaguing the fashion industry again. This time, the criminal posing as a stylist is going by the name Arnaud de Trévégan and claiming to be the Editor-at-large of Numero Tokyo.
According to a sample request de Trévégan sent to Marcus Hanuy, a German emerging menswear brand last month, he is holding himself out to be working on editorials for Numero Tokyo, as well as Numero Russia and China. In the sample request email, which was seen by TFL, de Trévégan also falsely claims to have already secured samples from “Vetements, Balenciaga, Moschino, Off White, Pigalle, Adidas, Loreal, Tom Ford, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Supreme, Reebok and ASICS” for such editorials. None of the aforementioned brands have confirmed such samples.
As we previously reported this fall, in order to woo designers into "lending" him their coveted garments and accessories, de Trévégan has established a detailed guise, including an elaborate Instagram page, which serves as his sole calling card/resume; a nod to the level of power that the social media app wields in the fashion industry.
On his Instagram account – handle @ahdetre – de Trévégan claims to be the editor of Numero Tokyo and an honoree of Business of Fashion’s annual BoF 500 list. In reality, he is not – and has never been – affiliated with either of these publications.
As i-D detailed last year, designer Martin Across – one of de Trévégan’s victims when he was going by Arnaud Mensan – "looked for him on social networks and confirmed that he had more than 40,000 followers on Instagram" before he sent the garments that Mensan had requested. Thereafter, he was unable to get in touch with Mensan and the garments were never returned to him, nor were they ever featured in the promised editorials.
LVMH-owned Berluti, as well as Norwegian brand HAiKw/ and London-based designer Isabella Wong, among others, have also fallen victim to de Trévégan's scam.
Complete with hundreds of photos of "his" styling and photography work, the captions accompanying de Trévégan's photos included mentions of his seemingly legitimate partners. The inclusion of specific brands and publications, including @HeroMagazine, @numero, @schiaparelli, and @eliesaab, among others, gave a sense of legitimacy to his claims. Upon further inspection, though, it becomes clear that these are little more than imitation, inactive, and/or unregistered accounts. Meticulously curated, these accounts – legitimate at a glance – almost certainly went undetected by the untrained or the trained-but-busy eye.
In connection with one photo, for instance, de Trévégan claims to have styled an editorial for Hero magazine's May issue. He includes a photo and his caption includes the @HeroMagazine handle. The magazine's actual account is @HeroMag. de Trévégan does this with Numero magazine, as well, tagging @Numero - an inactive account - as opposed to the magazine's official Instagram account, @NumeroMagazine. The same can be said of Elie Saab, whose official handle is not @eliesaab but @eliesaabworld and of Schiaparelli, which maintains a verified account with the handle @elsaschiaparelli not @schiaparelli.
As for the photos that appear on de Trévégan’s Instagram account, none were actually shot or styled by him. For instance, one photo bears the caption, "So happy that I was chosen to imagine and shoot the next campaign for @schiaparelli Couture. Find those in magazines worlwide starting next month issues. Thanks [Schiaparelli ambassador] @faridakelfa for the trust and love." The photo at issue was not taken de Trévégan, but by Baldovino Barani for Odda Magazine in 2013.
Designers are warned not to engage with de Trévégan, who has contacted labels by way of the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Moreover, considering that the Instagram account at issue will likely be discounted by the app in the near future, be on the lookout for accounts with similar photos and bios. To date, de Trévégan has created new accounts with almost all of the same photos and captions, and purchased tend of thousands of followers, as soon as his account is removed by Instagram.