As I reflect on the last year, I am both immensely proud of what the Model Alliance has accomplished and hopeful for what the New Year will bring. We kicked off 2017 at the Women’s March on Washington and closed out the year with the announcements of two pieces of legislation, which, if enacted, will afford models protections against sexual harassment in the workplace from New York to California
But we didn’t stop there: With researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University, we published in a top journal the largest study to date on eating disorders among models. The study, which has been described as “the first scientific proof” of the high prevalence of eating disorders among models and pressures from the industry, became the basis for our #DearNYFWcampaign, which called on the American fashion industry to prioritize health and celebrate diversity on the runway, and which garnered thousands of signatures from members of the industry and the public.
With the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, we launched the #FacesOfFreelancers campaign to raise awareness for the enactment of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act. We hosted a workshop presented by the Mayor’s Office of Labor and Policy Standards, and we testified before the NYC Commission on Human Rights at their public hearing on sexual harassment in the workplace. To raise awareness for our efforts, we collaborated on exclusive videos with major media outlets, from The New York Times' "What It's Truly Like to Be a Fashion Model," in which models discuss racism and feeling old at 25-years-old, to Harpers’ Bazaar's "Sex, Power and Consent in the Fashion Industry," in which ten brave models open up about their personal experiences of sexual harassment and assault on the job.
We have also considered labor-related and environmental concerns in the global fashion industry. On the 4th anniversary of the collapse of Rana Plaza, we co-sponsored a screening of "Workers Voices," a documentary that explores the organizing efforts of Bangladesh’s garment workers. In an effort to build on the heightened awareness for sexual violence in the fashion industry, we hosted a strategy session featuring Kalpona Akter, a prominent labor activist in Bangladesh. We also participated in the event "Role Models for Change" at the U.N., where I shared the Model Alliance's broad vision for labor solidarityacross fashion's supply chain, and we stood up for the planet and its future by participating at the People’s Climate March in cities across the country.
At a time when #metoo is part of the national conversation, we have an opportunity to foster a culture of accountability in the industry. We believe it is essential that future efforts are not strictly industry-driven, which is why I have proposed an independent monitor, as I have discussed over recent months with numerous industry stakeholders and outlined in a recent op-ed in WWD.
Perhaps most noteworthy of all is that we have done all of this with little to no financial resources. The Model Alliance is entirely volunteer-run, and while we are passionate about our work, we cannot build on our progress without your support. Please consider making a contribution today. Your support would make a tremendous difference to this effort. I really hope you'll join us!
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!
Sara Ziff
Executive Director


Your contribution in any amount is appreciated.  Thank you!

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