Fashion influencer is slammed for posing in a bikini while raising awareness for Ukraine

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An influencer has  been branded ‘tone deaf’ and ‘careless’ for posing in a bikini and encouraging people to buy her swimwear line – while claiming to raise awareness for the crisis in Ukraine.

Danielle Bernstein, 29,  who founded New York based blog, We Wore What, took to Instagram to share a snap of herself in a bikini promoting her new swimwear line. 

Writing to her two million followers she claimed:  ‘You can raise awareness for your new collection while also raising money to give back.

‘You can go about your day while also showing compassion and reaching out to others.’

Danielle Bernstein, 29, who founded New York based blog, We Wore What, took to Instagram to share a snap of herself in a bikini promoting her new swimwear line.

Danielle Bernstein, 29, who founded New York based blog, We Wore What, took to Instagram to share a snap of herself in a bikini promoting her new swimwear line.

Writing to her two million followers she claimed:'You can raise awareness for your new collection while also raising money to give back.'You can go about your day while also showing compassion and reaching out to others.'

However, Danielle quickly changed the caption after getting backlash from followers who branded her'tone deaf' and'literally the worst'

Writing to her two million followers she claimed: ‘You can raise awareness for your new collection while also raising money to give back. ‘You can go about your day while also showing compassion and reaching out to others.’ (left) However, Danielle quickly changed the caption after getting backlash from followers who branded her ‘tone deaf’ and ‘literally the worst’ (right)

‘What’s going on in the world right now is terrifying, and I know posting a photo in a bikini isn’t helping anyone – but you know what will?  

‘The proceeds from this swim launch going towards an on-the-ground organisation in Ukraine.

‘Stay tuned for more on the giveback for this collection [available March 1st].’

However, Danielle quickly changed the caption after getting backlash from followers who branded her ‘tone deaf’ and ‘literally the worst’.  

She edited the caption to claim that her brand – We Give What – has given $250,000 (£187,000) to Global Empowerment Mission, who help out refugee crises across the world.  

Danielle, pictured,  has previously come under fire for copying designs and threatening small business owners who tried to take them back.

Danielle, pictured,  has previously come under fire for copying designs and threatening small business owners who tried to take them back.

However, this statement was quickly criticised by other fashion accounts. Sustainable fashion advocate Heidi Kaluza, who runs Instagram account The Rogue Essentials commented:'To be clear, you do not need to buy something (like a swimsuit) in order to fund Global Empowerment Mission.

However, this statement was quickly criticised by other fashion accounts. Sustainable fashion advocate Heidi Kaluza, who runs Instagram account The Rogue Essentials commented: ‘To be clear, you do not need to buy something (like a swimsuit) in order to fund Global Empowerment Mission.

The account, which often calls out influencers and fast fashion, added that it was'not true' for Danielle to claim her team sent $250,000 to help refugees in Ukraine as she instead hosted an event where money was raised instead.

 The account, which often calls out influencers and fast fashion, added that it was ‘not true’ for Danielle to claim her team sent $250,000 to help refugees in Ukraine as she instead hosted an event where money was raised instead.

Danielle later shared posts claiming she'd sent $21,000 to Ukraine and that the philanthropic arm of her business is'fully run by the Global Empowerment Mission'.

Danielle shared an image of her apparent fundraising

Danielle later shared posts claiming she’d sent $21,000 to Ukraine and that the philanthropic arm of her business is ‘fully run by the Global Empowerment Mission’.

‘Almost every single @shopweworewhat launch has given back hundreds of thousands of dollars to an extremely important cause and I couldn’t be more proud of that. This will be no different. Two days ago our team sent $250,000 worth of refugee relief to Ukraine. Because of the current situation we are delaying the launch date and making a second donation of $5,000 to our @wegavewhat partners @globalempowermentmission TODAY, because we know it is needed NOW.

However, this statement was quickly criticised by other fashion accounts. Sustainable fashion advocate Heidi Kaluza, who runs Instagram account The Rogue Essentials commented: ‘To be clear, you do not need to buy something (like a swimsuit) in order to fund Global Empowerment Mission. 

‘You can just donate what you would have spend and then you don’t have to worry about where it goes when it falls apart.’

Heidi's post was later shared to Instagram account Diet Prada, where hundreds of people's shared their shock, including one who wrote:'Don't'donate' by buying anything from her - she doesn't deserve the tax write off'.

Heidi’s post was later shared to Instagram account Diet Prada, where hundreds of people’s shared their shock, including one who wrote: ‘Don’t ‘donate’ by buying anything from her – she doesn’t deserve the tax write off’.

The account, which often calls out influencers and fast fashion, added that it was ‘not true’ for Danielle to claim her team sent $250,000 to help refugees in Ukraine as she instead hosted an event where money was raised instead.

‘Lots of people are working, donating and sharing information without trying to profit from it at the same time,’ she added.

‘I forgot about this person for a while and I’m sad she made her way back into my media sphere. Her business embodies so much of what’s wrong with influencing, including portraying a very false and misleading portrayal on impact’.  

Danielle later shared posts claiming she’d sent $21,000 to Ukraine and that the philanthropic arm of her business is ‘fully run by the Global Empowerment Mission’.

Danielle has previously come under fire for copying designs and threatening small business owners who tried to take them back.

Heidi’s post was later shared to Instagram account Diet Prada, where hundreds of people’s shared their shock, including one who wrote: ‘Don’t ‘donate’ by buying anything from her – she doesn’t deserve the tax write off’.

It comes as the fashion world has come under fire for their lack of support for the crisis in Ukraine, with Valentino co-founder Giancarlo Giammetti taking to Instagram to share a picture from Moschino’s show at Milan Fashion Week next to a picture of a young girl looking at rubble.

It comes as the fashion world has come under fire for their lack of support for the crisis in Ukraine, with Valentino co-founder Giancarlo Giammetti taking to Instagram to share a picture from Moschino's show at Milan Fashion Week next to a picture of a young girl looking at rubble.

It comes as the fashion world has come under fire for their lack of support for the crisis in Ukraine, with Valentino co-founder Giancarlo Giammetti taking to Instagram to share a picture from Moschino’s show at Milan Fashion Week next to a picture of a young girl looking at rubble.

‘The illogical lack of compatibility between fashion shows and the Ukraine situation is something that has to be addressed.. I don’t know the answer.. do you ? Look at these two pictures … the disparity is hurting,’ we wrote.

Vogue Ukraine’s Vena Brykalin added that Milan Fashion Week has proved that the industry is ‘tone deaf’.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the journalist said that he flew out to fashion week from Kyiv a day early which ‘might have saved his life’ because hours later airspace was shut down.  

Brykalin has skipped many of the shows in Milan Fashion Week and has not posted about fashion on social media – saying that he’s ‘grateful to be safe’ but most of his team are ‘hiding in basements’. 

‘Being a male, there’s a pressure to return and sign up to the military effort.

‘I have female friends even looking for rifles and guns because they are that committed to helping the defence,’ he added.

Vogue Ukraine's Vena Brykalin added that Milan Fashion Week has proved that the industry is'tone deaf'.

Vogue Ukraine’s Vena Brykalin added that Milan Fashion Week has proved that the industry is ‘tone deaf’.

Taking to Instagram, he said that Giorgio Armani is the only designer that has even acknowledged the Ukraine crisis, by putting his show in complete silence.

Brykalin added that ‘turning your music off isn’t the most radical thing in the world’ and that he doesn’t think designers should scrap their hard work and ‘just stop’.

‘But I do think this industry is really tone deaf and Milan has shown that this week,’ he added.

 ‘I don’t expect models walking out wearing Ukrainian national flags or burning a portrait of Vladimir Putin on the runway… The lamest thing you can do is to throw in Ukrainian dress into your collection just to show your support. But there are things you can do.’.

He added he doesn’t know if it’s ‘laziness, insensitivity or the fear of alienating certain customers’ as Russia is a huge market for high-end designers. 

Giorgio Armani walks the runway at the Giorgio Armani fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week, after doing he stopped music at his show in support of Ukraine

Giorgio Armani walks the runway at the Giorgio Armani fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week, after doing he stopped music at his show in support of Ukraine

Ukrainian model Kateryna Zub, 21, is also stranded in Italy after flying out from her home town of Kharkiv, where her parents are.  

‘I call them and they are trying to tell me everything is fine, but I can hear the sounds of guns. Can you imagine?’  It’s too late. They can’t go anywhere. Russians are everywhere. Tanks are everywhere. Oh my god, it’s a nightmare. It’s worse than anything I’ve seen in the movies,’ she told the Evening Standard.    

Ukraine’s President Zelensky said in a TV address today that 16 Ukrainian children have been killed and 45 wounded in the four days since Putin’s invasion began.

Hundreds of thousands of women and children are fleeing Ukraine for the West, with some children separated or even orphaned since the invasion began. Queues of up to 25 miles are reported at the border with Poland.

Putin dramatically escalated East-West tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces put on high alert on Sunday, while Ukraine’s embattled leader agreed to talks with Moscow as Putin’s forces drove deeper into the country.

Putin cited ‘aggressive statements’ by NATO in issuing a directive to increase the readiness of his country’s nuclear weapons – a step that raised fears that the invasion of Ukraine could boil over into nuclear war, whether by design or mistake.

The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Amid the mounting tensions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office announced that the two sides would meet at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border, where a Russian delegation was waiting Sunday.

But the Kremlin’s ultimate aims in Ukraine – and what steps might be enough to satisfy Moscow – remained unclear



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