Thinness, youth, working conditions: big names will better protect the models

News 6 September, 2017
  • AFP


    Wednesday, September 6, 2017 06:56

    Wednesday, September 6, 2017 07:03

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    The giants of the luxury Kering and LVMH, representative of the great names in fashion like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Vuitton, and Dior, have adopted a common charter to prohibit the use of mannequins too skinny and under the age of 16 years.

    Made public Wednesday, the eve of the opening of the fashion shows in new york, this “charter on labour relations and the well-being of the dummies” has been signed in a new approach after the controversy, particularly on the conditions of a casting during the paris Fashion week in February.

    Hit it hard

    It provides a series of commitments intended to apply immediately in the world, at photo shoots for advertising campaigns and fashion shows of the brands belonging to these two French giants (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney for Kering, and Dior, Vuitton, Givenchy, Céline, Kenzo, Fendi, Loewe, Berluti, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, and Loro Piana to LVMH).

    “We wanted to go fast and strike hard, for things to move really, and try to encourage to the maximum the other actors of the profession to follow us”, said to AFP the CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault. Antoine Arnault, a member of the board of directors of LVMH and son of the CEO Bernard Arnault, praised the charter, which “really changes the game”.

    These commitments go beyond legal provisions on the employment of models entered into force in France in may. The charter requires the presentation of a medical certificate dating from less than six months, while the act provides that such a certificate -taking into account the body mass index (BMI) of the model, can range up to two years.

    While the thinness of the models makes regular controversy, brands are committed to banish the sizes smaller, lower than the 34 (waist French) for women and 44 for men.

    “The provision on the size, coupled with the medical certificate of less than six months, is a very strong which will allow us to move forward,” said Mr. Pinault.

    “A lot of people are not even aware of the existence of the size 32”, admitted Antoine Arnault. “But a number of designers were to their prototypes in 32. It is now finished, the sizes will now be from the 34, which is already small enough”, he told AFP.


    The houses will also prohibit hiring of models under the age of 16 years for clothes for adults.

    “There has been abuse,” said Antoine Arnault. “A young girl of 15 years does not have the baggage necessary to face the difficult world of fashion and modeling,” added the manager, married to the supermodel Natalia Vodianova.

    The young age of the models is often criticized: teenage girls 14 and 15 years old have trodden in the past the catwalks of prestigious brands.

    The charter regulates the working conditions of models, especially those of the youngest (16 to 18 years old), and the “situations of nudity or semi-nudity”. It also provides that they have “access to food and drinks that are tailored to their dietary needs”.

    Paris Fashion week was marked in February by a controversy triggered by the casting director american James Scully. He had challenged the terms of a casting made for Balenciaga by two of its competitors, accusing them of treatment “sadistic and cruel” against young girls, forced to wait for hours in a staircase.

    The implementation of these rules will be overseen by a monitoring committee set up by the two groups.

    “The CEO of marks in my group will ensure that the measures are being applied everywhere. A brand that is not in accordance with the charter should me accountable,” warned François-Henri Pinault, who also wishes to in the future, “advance quickly” on the issue of the diversity of the models.