The Model Alliance is thrilled to announce that Senator Jeffrey Klein, the Co-Leader of the New York State Senate, and Senator Diane Savino, Chair of the State Labor Committee, have agreed to propose legislation which will finally afford print and runway models under the age of 18 who work in the State of New York the same protections and benefits afforded to all other child performers. The legislation is sponsored in the State Assembly by Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Westchester) who is working with the Model Alliance to advance the identical measure in that house.
“When I started modeling at 15,” says Trish Goff, “there were no provisions for on-set tutors and so I dropped out of school. Although I was one of the lucky ones who went on to a successful career as a model, as a child I should never have been forced to make that choice — between modeling and education.”
Many models begin their careers as children, and are faced with pressures and choices they should not have to deal with on their own. Often, these pressures include nudity, sexual demands, starvation dieting, working long hours for no pay, and foregoing education, and the choices made as children may have long-lasting repercussions. “The fact is that very few models ‘make it,’ and so many young women sacrifice education and wellbeing for misdirected hopes about what modeling might someday bring. I believe education should come first,” says Carre Otis.
Rachel Blais states, “It seems basic that child models who do print and runway work should have the same legal protections as any other child performer, and maybe even more.”
Under the current New York labor laws, child actors, dancers, and singers are protected by Department of Labor regulations. Fashion models are excluded. The proposed legislation will provide child models with on-set chaperones and tutors, and with trust accounts – awarding them protection, education, and financial transparency.
This is a momentous step forward in the recognition of models’ rights.
We look forward to working with Senators Klein and Savino to ensure that the next generation of children and teens who enter the fashion industry are fully protected by the law.