Two major fashion groups are banning underweight models
You might notice something a little different during the upcoming Paris Fashion Week as two major French fashion groups, Kering and LVMH, have signed a charter to protect the wellbeing of their models. The charter forbids the hiring of underweight models for catwalk shows, meaning size zero will no longer be the norm.
The groups, which encompass such famous labels as Christian Dior, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent, are acting in response to ongoing critique of the fashion industry’s perceived encouragement of negative body image and eating disorders. All the fashion brands that fall underneath the two groups will ban female models below a French size 34 (UK size 6) and male models below a size 42 (32). It further stipulates models below 16 cannot be hired to represent adults in shows and shoots and 16 to 18 year old models cannot work between 10pm and 6am and have to be chaperoned while at work.
— LVMH (@LVMH) September 6, 2017
“Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering as a Group,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, in a press release. The charter is a worldwide effort to inspire the industry to make a difference in working conditions for fashion models.
How the fashion groups plan to enforce the sizing requirements remains unclear but apparently models are required to present a valid “medical certificate, attesting to their good health and ability to work.” Still, the commitment is a step in the right direction for the fashion industry after decades of reported mistreatment of models – with several instances reported just this year – and critique on their unrealistic portrayals of the human body.
The media’s influence on the public’s self perception, especially on young women, has been widely investigated and reported in various documentaries such as Embrace and Miss Representation. If the industry can change from within it might diminish the outward pressure on society as a whole.
The charter will be in effect ahead of Paris Fashion week.
Photo: Erol Birsen