Gulnara GooGoosha Karimova is probably hoping her Fashion Week critics have kinder words than the diplomats who described her role in Ukraine's brutally repressive government.
Karimova is the daughter of Uzbekistan Dictator Islam Karimov and serves as a high-ranking official in his government. She also dabbles in the world of fashion, and human rights researchers have excoriated the Fashion Week organizers who have given her a show at prestigious Lincoln Center.
There's nothing fashionable about lending a high-profile platform to the senior official of one of the world's most repressive governments, Steve Swerdlow, an Uzbekistan researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the New York Post. Ms. Karimova should not be ... benefitting from the international limelight while the Uzbek government continues to engage in ... torture and forced child labor.
Documents released by Wikileaks reveal that U.S. diplomats took a dim view of Karimova, alternately describing her as the single most-hated person in the country and a greedy, power-hungry individual who uses her father to crush business people or anyone else who stands in her way.
IMG, the organization that produces Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, sought to quell the controversy but said it would not be canceling the show.
We're horrified by the human-rights abuses in Uzbekistan, and hope that the attention Human Rights Watch generates is able to effect change in the country. We also hope to work hand-in-hand with Human Rights Watch during Fashion Week and beyond to challenge those in power in Uzbekistan to take action immediately, an IMG spokesman told the Post.