Julian Assange. Photo: AFP
Yes, you read the headline correctly; Julian Assange will model during September's London Fashion Week.
The WikiLeaks founder will model for Ben Westwood, son of Dame Vivienne, who will showcase the latest collection from his eponymous brand.
The show will take place at Assange's current residence, the Ecuadorian embassy in London's Knightsbridge, where 'celebrity guests' - rumoured to include George Clooney and his lawyer fiancée, who has acted on Assange's defence team - will be served Ferrero Roche.
Vivienne Westwood wearing her Julian Assange T-shirt. Photo: Telegraph UK
Speaking to The Telegraph, London this morning, Westwood said much of the details are still to be confirmed but that due to the size constraints of the embassy the event will not be a formal catwalk affair but more of a "dress up, mill about and have a drink".
"The point is to promote Julian Assange," he says.
Contrary to other reports, Westwood's camouflage-heavy collection hasn't been inspired by Assange but instead his personal love of camping and the outdoors, and Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Ben Westwood models the new collection. Photo: Rodney Westwood
The idea to involve Assange in the show came about a couple of months ago when Westwood was talking with his PR representative, Richard Hillgrove, about the 42-year-old's case. Hillgrove then duly set about organising the tie-up, though Westwood is yet to actually meet Assange or visit the embassy.
"I haven't spoken to Julian at all actually yet but I would like to. I'm waiting to hear from him now. It's funny how these things work - it goes in the press first and then it happens! I don't see why he wouldn't do it - after all he needs publicity for his case," he comments.
Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2010 after being wanted for questioning over alleged sexual offences in Sweden, from where he could be extradited to the US to face charges for publishing thousands of leaked US government documents on WikiLeaks.
He's also yet to discuss the upcoming event with his mother, Dame Vivienne Westwood, who has been away in Milan, but is sure that she will support it - she is a staunch supporter of Assange and has previously visited him at the embassy while wearing a T-shirt bearing the words 'I'm Julian Assange'.
Assange won't model alone, they'll be a clutch of other "outcasts", as Westwood calls them, including one of his long-haired 60-year-old male friends.
The show will not be included on the official London Fashion Week schedule but will instead be a fringe event held to highlight Assange's case. Westwood hopes it may even be live-streamed on the internet.
The Telegraph, London