• Designer and Council of Fashion Designers of America president Diane von Furstenberg published her seasonal open letter to the industry about models' health and working conditions backstage. And there's a shout-out to, well, us! With just two weeks to go 'til New York fashion week, von Furstenberg lists the warning signs of eating disorders, directs designers to provide healthy foods and prohibit alcohol and smoking backstage, and writes, "On behalf of The Model Alliance (http://modelalliance.org) we also encourage you to consider model privacy and to have the photographers cleared for first looks." That, in case you hadn't noticed, is our Backstage Privacy Policy in a nut shell. Von Furstenberg states that model age is again of concern to the CFDA. She turns designers' attention to existing labor laws governing workers under age 16, encourages designers to avoid keeping models under 18 working past midnight, and says:

    Top modeling agencies -- including DNA, Elite, Ford, IMG, Marilyn, New York Models, Next, One, Supreme, Trump, Wilhelmina, Women and Women Direct -- have again pledged that they will not send out models under the age of 16 for shows.   The industry must work together to support this and insist that models show i.d. to casting agents or to someone on the production team.  Any model walking in the Diane von Furstenberg runway will have shown i.d. prior to the show.

    [CFDA, The Cut, Fashionista]

  • Our founder, Sara Ziff, is interviewed about in New York magazine's new issue. They call her "The Norma Rae of the Runway." (Did you know that Model Alliance Advisory Board member Alan S. Gordon's career served in part to inspire that film?) Says Ziff:

    “When you’re talking about a labor force of kids, which most of them are, that should be a red flag,” Ziff says. “Minors often putting in long hours without rest or meal breaks, and dropping out of school to be able to work for free: There are so many levels of wrong there.”

    [New York]

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