Fashion influencer’s photoshoot amid California wildfires stokes outrage

  • Fashion blogger and influencer Colette LeClair is facing backlash for conducting a photoshoot on a beach in San Francisco — against the backdrop an orange-tinted sky amid ongoing wildfires. 
  • A since-deleted viral tweet criticizing LeClair's decision to pose against a backdrop of devastating wildfires drew attention to the influencer's Instagram account.
  • Outraged commenters called the influencer's post "grim" and "insensitive," while others came to her defense and argued that LeClair couldn't simply stop her content creation. 
  • LeClair has since turned off comments on the post and updated her caption to clarify that she "loves" San Francisco and considered the ongoing wildfires to be "devastating."
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Fashion blogger Colette LeClair is facing intense backlash for posting a series of photos that her critics have called "insensitive" and "grim." The influencer, who recently moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles, bid farewell to her city with two Instagram photos in which she posed in an orange dress on the beach — against a backdrop of the unsettling orange-tinted sky amid ongoing forest fires in the region. 

"My last day here! Wanted to say goodbye to the ocean and beach and do something I used to enjoy so much here for years — TRIPOD PHOTOS," she captioned the post.

The photos of the orange dress were also shared on LeClair's blog in a post advertising "unique and vibrant dresses on sale."

The Instagram post quickly stoked outrage online. Author Caroline Moss drew attention LeClair's photos with a viral tweet criticizing the influencer's decision to capitalize on the dramatic background as the state battles its most destructive wildfire season on record.

"We live in hell," she captioned a screenshot of the post. "This is an influencer who just posted a photo of clothing she's selling by *posing in it* on the beach in San Francisco as forest fires rage around her."

Moss' tweet instantly racked up thousands of comments from outraged followers, with one Twitter user calling the photos "grim on so many levels," and another accusing LeClair of "using an ecological tragedy as a prop for self-promotion."

Some commenters came to LeClair's defense, arguing that the influencer "has to make a living" and cannot stop working to "mourn for the dying Earth."

Moss' Twitter account, however, appears to have been deleted. 

LeClair his since turned off the comments on her Instagram post and updated the caption to address her thoughts on the ongoing wildfires.

"To clarify — I drove to the beach on my last night in town, and took photos, I love taking photos. I have taken photos for the last 3 years in this city. I love this city," she wrote. "There have been fires going on for weeks in California. It is devastating. Prayers for people dealing with the fires. SENDING YOU ALL LOVE."

Colette LeClair did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

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