Harry Uzoka, rising star in modeling, died from a stab wound in West London. The loss of the young icon was a surprise but the shocker was the involvement of another model in the incident. George Koh, Louis Vuitton runway model, was charged with murder and weapon possession in the killing of Harry Uzoka.
Harry Uzoka was a 25-year-old British model who took the industry by storm. Under Premier Model Management, the upcoming act worked with brands such as Levi’s and Zara. Whether it was in magazines or on billboards, Uzoka built a portfolio outside of runways that won him a huge social following, and a great reputation in his field. Unfortunately, his rise to fame was abruptly cut short on January 11th.
The “robbery gone wrong” theory ended in a twisted conspiracy. Fellow runway model, 24-year-old George Koh, was arrested following the death of Uzoka. Koh, a former IMG model, was charged with murder and possession of a weapon. While speculations of rivalry flow, the prosecution suggested the dispute was over a woman. The fight eventually resulted in an armed confrontation between both parties and involved friends. The tragic incident ended two growing careers of black British icons, in an industry that lacks such representation.
As we mourn the loss of Harry Uzoka, we must not politicize the incident as a stereotyped dispute between two black men. In the wake of successive scandals and controversies in the fashion world, the Uzoka affair lifts the veil on an industry that downplays its demons as outliers. This is not another incident that can be swept under the rug as hearsay. It is not another misconduct that can be muffled by elitist status. Nor is it another skeleton that can be hidden in the closet. There is rampant iniquity in the fashion world and the murder of Harry Uzoka is the last call on how much longer we can ignore the issue.
To his family, his friends, his peers and those he worked with, we send our sincere condolences.
To Harry Uzoka, a young icon, already missed and always loved, we send our prayers.
Rest in Power.