Hollie May Saker is the Scouse model who made international headlines after being tackled by a topless activist from Ukrainian group Femen at the spring/summer 14 Nina Ricci show. Despite being grabbed by the wrist, the Liverpool-born model casually shook off the protestor and continued her walk like a true pro. Here she reports…
Before the show started, I was feeling so overwhelmed that I was about to walk for Nina Ricci. We had done the run through and I was feeling confident in my heels, especially compared to heels I had to wear in previous shows this season. The atmosphere backstage was amazing. There were so many girls I knew walking in the show, I was in such a good mood and so excited for it to start. Whilst we were in the line-up, we were all making jokes about the curtain that hung down the middle of the catwalk. One of the girls said, “I bet they haven’t told us that they’re going to send random dancers down the middle or something!” Little did we know something similar but much more random was about to happen!
I was the 19th girl to walk, out of 40 models. As per usual, before I went on my heart was beating out of my chest. This happens to me before every show. I got half way down the catwalk when I heard screaming coming from behind me. At that point so much was going through my head. I was worried I had gone out at the wrong time or I was wearing the wrong outfit and I was being called back. I thought maybe the model behind me had had a freak out and was ruining the show. None of what had come in to my mind was happening in reality; instead two topless protestors were invading the catwalk!
When I heard the screaming I wanted to look back to see what was going on but I knew I just had to keep going. All of a sudden one of the protesters ran up behind me, violently grabbed my arm and raised it up in the air as if I was cheering for what they were protesting about. At the same time she lifted my skirt and completely exposed me to all the cameras and everyone watching the show. I was so embarrassed and so angry with this crazy lady. For all she knew I could have been 16! If this had of happened to me when I was 16 I probably would have sat down on the catwalk and cried. Instead I pulled my arm away as quickly as I could. The protestor didn’t let go, so it resulted in my hand flopping into her face. To be completely honest, if I had had more time to think I would have nipple crippled her! But I’m glad I didn’t because at the end of the day I’m a true professional. I feel very proud of myself for the way in which I handled the situation, as are a lot of people, especially my agency Models 1.
I have been over whelmed by the support that I have received from everyone, even from David Walliams who kindly sent me a private message through Twitter to show his support. At the time of the incident I thought it was the end of my career. Instead I gained 4,000 followers on Twitter, and made the news headlines in almost every country. I effectively became a Liverpool hero, and I made it into my hometown newspaper the Liverpool Echo. For me, that really means a lot. Every morning my granddad walks to collect his paper and there I was making the front page along with a two-page article about me inside. I believe everything happens for a reason. I am not sure what the reason is yet but there has got to be one!