The Council of Fashion Designers of America, through the initiative of its chairperson Diane Von Furstenberg, has released a guideline for designers and models participating in US fashion shows, especially in the upcoming New York Fashion Week.
Top of of the list is, of course, that models must be 16 and above. To prove their qualifying age, models are required to show their IDs on the day of the show. Designers are also instructed not to allow models under the age of 18 to work past midnight at fittings.
The CFDA chair says that designers have the responsibility to set a strong example of health and well-balanced life on the runways. Aside from age, health is also a very important consideration. Although many of the models are genetically thin, not a few have develop eating disorders from coping with the size 0 standard. Designers actually have the power to curtail anorexia in the industry by banning girls with eating disorder problems.
• Educate the industry to identify the early warning signs in an individual at risk of developing an eating disorder.
• Encourage models who may have an eating disorder to seek professional help in order to continue modeling. And models who are receiving professional help for an eating disorder should not continue modeling without that professional’s approval.
• Develop workshops for the industry (including models and their families) on the nature of eating disorders, how they arise, how we identify and treat them, and complications if they are untreated.
• Support the well-being of younger individuals by not hiring models under the age of sixteen for runway shows; not allowing models under the age of eighteen to work past midnight at fittings or shoots; checking IDs to ensure that models are the appropriate age; providing regular breaks and rest.
• Consult the applicable labor laws found at www.labor.state.ny.us when working with models under sixteen.
• Supply healthy meals, snacks, and water backstage and at shoots and provide nutrition and fitness education.
• Promote a healthy backstage environment by raising the awareness of the impact of smoking and tobacco-related disease among women, ensuring a smoke-free environment, and address underage drinking by prohibiting alcohol.