Luxury Brands Ban Underweight Models

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Recently two of the top Parisian luxury fashion companies combined forces to create a charter called ‘The Charter on Working Relations With Fashion Models and Their Well-Being’ with the intention of regulating the health of runway models in the industry; including banning underweight models from runway shows. The charter is a long overdue response to criticism that the fashion industry promotes ridiculous body standards and eating disorders.

Kering, owner of such brands as Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, and more have teamed up with LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs, released a joint statement on Wednesday detailing the ways they would work to regulate the well-being of models.

“Our groups strongly believe that it is our ethical and social responsibility to ensure the well-being of all models working with our Houses,” the charter reads. “Therefore, after consulting industry professionals, we have jointly developed guidelines, which go beyond the legal requirements, in order to ensure that fashion models are always provided with proper working conditions.”

The lengthy set of guidelines include:

*Brands commit to banning size 32 (equivalent size 0) for female model and casting agencies are required to present women models who are “respectively size 34 or over.”
*Models must have access to food and beverages that comply with dietary restrictions
*Models must also have access to a therapist/psychologist during working hours
*Models have to be able to file complaints with agencies, casting directors, or brand employees
*The brands must not hire models under the age of 16 to participate in shows and shootings representing an adult
*Models between 16 and 18 years old are not allowed to work between 10 pm and 6 am
*Nudity or semi-nudity for models under 18 is only allowed through an agreement signed by both the model and her/his legal representative
*Models have to explicitly consent to nudity and can not be left alone with a photographer or someone linked to the production while nude or getting dressed before or after a show.
*The presence of a chaperone/guardian appointed by their agencies, and who can also be one of the model’s parents, is mandatory for models from 16 to 18 years of age
*Any model under the age of 18 must be housed in the same accommodation as their chaperone/guardian
*The brands must require agencies to ensure that models meet their school attendance obligations
*Alcohol shall not be served to models under the age of 18

The charter, which will be enforced via a monitoring committee, comes after a new French law that requires fashion models to obtain medical certificates from doctors to prove they are healthy enough to work.

Earlier this year, both Kering and LVMH were scrutinized for the mistreatment of models. In May, model Ulrikke Hoyer claimed she was dismissed by a Louis Vuitton casting assistant after being told she was “too big” and was instructed to only drink water for 24 hours. In February of this year, Balenciaga fired two casting directors after they were accused of mistreating models.

So will the charter actually hold up? As The Fashion Law points out, previously the CFDA announced that models walking in New York Fashion Week had to prove they were at least 16 years old, but then later that same year a 15-year-old model walked several shows. But while Kering and LVMH could potentially renege on their own agreement, but for the time being there are at least French laws in place to ensure that models are healthy enough to work.


What do you think about this charter? Share your thoughts in the comments.



*Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Author Nicole Marie

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