Toronto-based Naked Models, the website of the model community that has seen a steady stream of new additions over the past year, has announced that it will be shutting down.
The company has had a tumultuous few months.
In February, the company announced that its board had voted to leave the business after its CEO, Laura Fenton, was accused of sexual harassment.
In March, the firm announced that Fenton would not return to her post after it was revealed that she had been fired from her role as CEO in late May.
That same month, Fenton filed for bankruptcy, citing unpaid rent, unpaid bills, and the need to “avoid creditors.”
In June, Fenthons former boyfriend, Justin Clements, filed a defamation lawsuit against the website and its owners.
Fenton later released a statement on her website stating that she would be stepping down from her position as CEO and would step down from Naked Models’ board of directors in October.
“I am so sorry for what happened,” she wrote.
“But it is my job to be responsible for my actions and to make sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes that have been made in the past.”
Naked Models was founded in 2016 by Clements and a former colleague, who were both women.
The duo had been building out their brand as models, modeling shoots, and social media platforms.
In early 2017, the founders were told that their site was under threat of being shut down by a hostile takeover attempt.
In late June, Clements was fired from the company, and Fenton announced that she was stepping down as CEO.
“Naked Models is a place for people who are interested in modeling and who want to work with beautiful, talented models, as well as professionals in other disciplines who want a platform to share their skills and passions,” Fenton wrote.
In her statement announcing the shutdown, Feenons board said that it has been in touch with several other board members to inform them of the change in direction.
“It is with great regret that we are announcing the immediate termination of the business,” it read.
“Laura Fenton has decided that it is time to step away from the management of Naked Models.
The board of the company is now acting to take full control of the organization.”
The move follows weeks of turmoil at Naked Models that included the firing of one of its founders and a subsequent public apology for the company’s sexual harassment policies.
“When we first launched Naked Models as a platform, it was all about modeling,” Clements said in a statement.
“We did our best to provide a platform for women who had dreams of modelling but weren’t able to make it a reality because of economic circumstances and lack of funding.
As time went on, we realized that the platform was not a safe place for anyone to model, and that was a very sad and difficult decision for us to make.
We regret that the site was shut down and are deeply sorry for any pain we caused to our fans and to Laura and our team.”
The announcement came just a few weeks after a major public apology to models, a move that drew criticism from some of the women who worked there.
“The board of Naked Modeling regrets that the company was shuttered and apologizes for any hurt that the news may have caused our community,” the statement read.
The women who were fired were among the first to be let go by Naked Models after the company fired Clements in February.
The news of the shutdown comes as a new wave of women, mostly younger, have stepped forward to fill the void in models’ ranks, joining models from the likes of Bella Hadid, Chloe Grace Moretz, and more.
“There is a massive demand for young, female models in the industry right now,” Feenns board wrote.