- The Italian fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli recently hosted a number of tech executives at his home in Solomeo, Italy.
- But an image posted from the summit is now being slammed after it was revealed that the two women present were added into the photo after the fact.
- The fashion house said in a statement that the doctored photo was created “when we realized we didn’t have a shot where all attendees were represented,” that it was approved by all the participants before it was posted, and that the design firm “meant no harm or had any malicious intent.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A photo featuring the Italian fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli and a number of tech executives is being slammed online for digitally adding in the only two female executives present.
The photo, which Cucinelli posted to his personal Instagram account on May 30, features familiar faces like Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, the LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, and former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was also said to be present but was not in the photo).
But if you look closely, something appears to be off with the two female executives pictured, Peek CEO Ruzwana Bashir and Sunrun co-CEO Lynn Jurich. See for yourself:
The photo was taken at what was nicknamed the Solomeo Summit in Solomeo, Italy. According to GQ, Cucinelli invited the crew of tech elites to his hometown to talk about how to make the world a better place, to eat, and to take walks in nature.
Read more: Jeff Bezos, Drew Houston, and a group of other tech execs traveled to a remote Italian village to meet with the fashion designer Silicon Valley is obsessed with (and whose sweaters can cost $3,000)
GQ spoke with Cucinelli and one of his guests, the Nextdoor cofounder Nirav Tolia, after the summit, publishing a deep dive into Silicon Valley’s infatuation with Cucinelli.
But on Wednesday morning, the BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac noticed that the image had been altered:
LMAO THEY PHOTOSHOPPED THE WOMEN IN.
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) June 12, 2019
Business Insider contacted the press line of Cucinelli’s namesake fashion house and received the following statement:
“The gathering was an informal affair between friends where we captured some group photos. When we realized we didn’t have a shot where all attendees were represented, we added in photos of two female CEOs taken during the weekend. The photos were shared and approved with all the participants including the two women, Lynn Jurich and Ruzwana Bashir, before posting them on Instagram and they also shared the group photo on their own Instagram handles. We meant no harm or had any malicious intent in doing this and we are sorry.”
GQ has since removed the image from its post, saying the photo “did not meet GQ’s editorial standards.”
While the altered image appears to have been a workaround for forgetting to take a group photo at the summit, critics pointed to a larger issue: Only two women were present at the event in the first place.
God forbid we talk about how messed up this is. These are the same kind of people that say "We'd hire women but there aren't any qualified ones available" … until later when we'll need to photoshop them in to save face
— Crystal House (@abbytoir) June 12, 2019
Also kind of amazing that they thought, "two women, fifteen men. yeah, that'll check the diversity box!"
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) June 12, 2019